A new accommodation facility for the Campbell River Hospital has been approved by the Strathcona Regional District. File photo/Campbell River Mirror

Hospital Home Away From Home facility approved by SRD

Third reading approved in March, discussions with funding partners underway

New accommodations are in the works to host visitors and families to the North Island Hospital in Campbell River.

The Strathcona Regional District recently approved a bylaw establishing a service to build and fund the facility. The Home Away From Home model allows patients and their families to have a place to stay while they are in the hospital, taking away the stress of finding and paying for transportation and accommodation.

The project first came to the board’s attention when the Children’s Health Foundation, who are building the Qwalayu House for expectant mothers in Campbell River, approached them looking for a group to take on a project to build and run a facility to house families of people using the hospital for non-maternity reasons.

RELATED: Qwalayu House in Campbell River to be North Island families’ home away from home

“The regional district thought that was an interesting project and has tentatively partnered with the Campbell River hospital foundation to work towards fundraising the capital costs of the facility and also work towards having operational donations to have the facility’s long term operational costs covered through donations from the community,” said SRD chief administrative officer David Leitch.

“You’re coming from up north or one of the islands and you have medical issues, the last thing you want to do is worry about accommodations and transportation,” he added. “We’re trying to simplify that all together.”

This bylaw was given three readings at the March 11 SRD board meeting. Originally, SRD staff were planning to reach out to partners including the Campbell River Hospital Foundation and other regional districts and governments to hammer down details and secure more funding, but the process was slowed due to the COVID-19 virus, which was declared a global pandemic on the same day.

“This COVID-19 thing happened at a peculiar time. We were on the cusp of the hospital foundation working towards a committed partnership with us to do fundraising for it,” Leitch said. “Everything still looks fairly positive, but it happened right before the pandemic started, so we want to hold tight for a tiny bit here until the dust settles and find out if we’re still on track with the hospital foundation.”

Leitch said that he had reached out to neighbouring jurisdictions including the Regional District of Mount Waddington to discuss becoming funding parters on the project. North Island Hospital is used by communities other than those in the SRD, and Leitch said bringing on other governments will help lessen the impact on SRD taxpayers. The adoption of the bylaw cements the position of the SRD board, and shows negotiations to proceed in earnest with other partners.

One of the conditions that the SRD board agreed to was that any capital costs would be covered by donation, and that the SRD would fund a portion of the operating costs after the facility is built. However, according to a staff report on the issue, “Based on the experience in other areas of the Province it is anticipated that the annual operating costs of maintaining such a facility in the long term will be supported fully by private donations.”

Leitch estimated that capital costs would be between $1.7 to $2 million.

The bylaw allows a maximum requisition of $.023 per $1,000, or roughly $228,000 per year if the funding is required. The staff report said the Regional District of Mount Waddington was considering a similar requisition level. Although the project will have to go through a voter approval or an alternative process.

RELATED: A home away from home for Campbell River Hospital patients in the works



marc.kitteringham@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

HealthcareHospitalsLocal News

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Campbell River RCMP describe violent incident as ‘disturbing event’

Skatepark incident described by RCMP as ‘violence for violence[’s] sake’

North Island area timber supply under review

Review will inform annual cut for the next ten years

Campbell River homelessness groups prepare for winter in a pandemic

Winter presents unique challenges to people experiencing homelessness this year

The secret life of tadpoles

Vancouver Island photographer Maxwel Hohn’s documentary traces the ‘big little migration’ of western toad tadpoles

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Long-term care need pressuring acute care in Comox Valley, Strathcona

Region could use a couple of large facilities for seniors on the north part of the Island

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

Most Read