First announced in 2018, construction upgrades totaling $1.25 million are now complete at South Okanagan General Hospital in Oliver, B.C.
The upgrades include a new waiting and triage area, a quiet room for families, a separate emergency department entrance and relocation of admitting and administration services.
The renovated emergency department will open on Jan. 21.
“Our government has invested in an upgraded emergency department at SOGH so that the people living in this community can receive quality health-care services when they need it,” said Adrian Dix, B.C.’s minister of health.
“I saw first-hand the need to upgrade the emergency department after touring the hospital in the fall of 2017, and I am pleased that health-care workers can continue to provide exemplary care to local residents in the improved space that they deserve.”
The project had an original price tag of $970,00 from the provincial government and the Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital District, but received a $280,000 boost from the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.
“We are pleased to support these renovations to SOGH to create a more patient-friendly emergency department, including space for families.”
Last summer, SOGH underwent two overnight emergency room closures due to a lack of physician coverage. Notably, Arrow Lakes Hospital in Nakusp also underwent two overnight closures.
Asked about understaffing issues at SOGH, Dix said the province “has done a lot of work with doctors in the area. There haven’t been any closures in some time, they’re fully staffed until the end of spring and we’re continuing to work with the community, and especially the community of doctors to make sure that the place is staffed.
“I think it’s working well, but there’s more to do, though. In Penticton and Summerland, we’ve started the primary care network process. We’re working in this community to improve the level of primary care to provide more primary-care support, to bring more staff in support of doctors here.
“So I think all of that is very positive, and I’m very optimistic about the future of the facility.”