MEDICAL EQUIPMENT A second CT scanner is one of the capital projects on the Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital District’s list for the coming fiscal year. (Photo submitted)

Health upgrades in South Okanagan and Similkameen forecast to cost nearly $10 million

Capital projects include CT scanner, medical vacuum system, ultrasounds and more

The Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital District has capital projects worth nearly $10 million in the plans for the 2020 to 2021 year.

The projects, with a cost of $9,824,250, include construction and equipment purchases for hospitals within the region.

Of this amount, $3,929,700 or 40 per cent of the total is to come from the regional hospital district.

The biggest construction project is the first phase of an electrical infrastructure upgrade at the Princeton hospital. This work has a cost of $1,150,000, with $460,000 to come from the hospital district.

The work is needed to bring the aging electrical infrastructure up to present standards.

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A medical vacuum system for the Penticton Regional Hospital has an estimated cost of $735,000, with $294,000 to come from the hospital district. The existing systems were installed around 10 years ago and the new systems will be more energy efficient and will conform to the latest standards.

Most of the equipment expenditures in the works are for the Penticton Regional Hospital. The most expensive of these is a second CT scanner for the hospital. This is a $5 million expense, with $2 million to come from the hospital district.

The additional scanner is needed to meet current and future demands at the hospital. The new scanner is larger, requiring more cooling and will use more power than a standard CT scanner. As a result, renovation work will be required.

Two ultrasounds for the hospital have a cost of $354,000, with $200,000 to come from the hospital district and digital video cameras for the pharmacy at a cost of $325,000, with $135,000 to come from the hospital district.

The video cameras will be required by all pharmacies in the province to adopt the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities model standards.

In Summerland, an uninterruptable power supply replacement has a price tag of $95,000, with $38,000 to come from the hospital region.

This system is needed for a variety of building systems including lighting, security and life support/critical medical equipment, which all require reliable backup power in case of a power outage.

The hospital district will also require an information technology upgrade as part of an initiative throughout the entire Interior Health area.

The total cost of this initiative is roughly $9.5 million. In the South Okanagan Similkameen, the cost is estimated at $1,064,250, with $425,700 to come from the hospital district.

Equipment costs of $100,000 or less are expected to come to $1,101,000, with $440,400 to come from the hospital district.

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