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Operating room expansions at B.C. Interior hospitals to cut wait times

Operating room expansions at B.C. Interior hospitals to cut wait times
PROVINCE OF B.C. — Royal Inland Hospital is one of several facilities in B.C.’s interior that is receiving expanded operating room infrastructure.

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — Help is on the way for patients in the B.C. Interior who are waiting for surgery.

Officials announced that Interior Health is close to completing work on five new operating rooms, two at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) and three at Royal Inland Hospital (RIH) in Kamloops, along with increased supports for staff.

“We have made tremendous progress towards rescheduling and completing surgical procedures postponed in the Interior due to the COVID-19 pandemic, environmental emergencies and staff redeployments,” said Adrian Dix, minister of health, in a statement. “This investment in additional operating rooms in Kamloops and Kelowna will significantly increase surgical capacity throughout the region and help more patients receive their surgery faster and closer to home.”

At RIH, the three new operating rooms are on schedule for completion in 2023 and will support an additional 5,400 operating room hours, or 3,240 procedures annually, bringing the number of base operating rooms at RIH to 13. 

 “Our hospitals continue to feel the pressures created over the last few years as we postponed surgical services to focus on critical care, which is creating a surge in demand for these services today,” said Susan Brown, president and CEO, Interior Health.

“The additional funding will help meet our commitment to drive down wait times for patients and increase our capacity on an ongoing basis.”

The Interior Heart and Surgical Centre at KGH has existing space available to add two more operating rooms which would boost its number from 14 to 16. The new rooms are expected to be open in spring 2023 following the installation of additional surgical equipment. Once fully operational, the two ORs will support an additional 3,600 operating room hours or approximately 2,500 surgeries annually at KGH.

The RIH expansion is supported by a one-time $6.7-million capital investment. The KGH expansion is supported by a one-time $6.9-million capital investment. The Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District contributed $2.76 million and there was a provincial contribution of $4.14 million.

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