More beds for new hospital, say MLA and docs

North Island MLA Claire Trevena and a few Campbell River doctors held a press conference Thursday

It’s not too late to get the hospital built right, according to North Island MLA Claire Trevena.

The NDP member was joined by Dr. Deke Botsford and at least two other Campbell River doctors at a press conference Thursday afternoon to lobby government to increase the number of beds for the new hospital.

“Just the other day we had 100 people in the hospital and the new hospital is being built for 95. It makes no sense,” Trevena said earlier Thursday.

Construction on the new $266-million Campbell River hospital is expected to begin next spring. For several months now, Trevena has been calling on Island Health (formerly Vancouver Island Health Authority) to increase the number of beds and, now, at a least a few doctors want to be heard as well.

“We need to get this on the record,” she said. “Let’s not spend all this money and not get this right.”

In September, in a letter to the Minister of Health, Trevena suggested using part of the current hospital to provide some extra space. The plan is to demolish the old hospital once the new one is completed.

“There is no question we need our new hospital, but everyone is concerned that it will be overcrowded as soon as it opens its doors,” said Trevena.