Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid and Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster unveiled plans for the final floors of Vernon Jubilee Hospital’s Polson Tower on Thursday.
“Finishing the top two floors will greatly improve capacity at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital, while also increasing patient comfort, privacy and safety,” MacDiarmid said at the official announcement held in the lobby of Polson Tower.
The 60 beds will be located on the top two floors of the Polson Tower, once construction has been completed in summer 2015.
“This is great news for patients and families,” said MLA Eric Foster.”
“It is the result of dedication and hard work.”
Of the 60 beds, 14 will be new and the remaining 46 will be relocated from four-bed and double-occupancy wards. The total number of beds at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital will ultimately increase from 140 to 162 beds.
In April 2012, the government announced plans to add beds in Polson Tower and complete the two unfinished floors. Funding to complete the two floors will be shared between the Province, the North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap Regional Hospital District and the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation.
Details of the cost sharing split for the expected $29.6 million price tag are still being finalized.
"We need to support our community to remain healthy and vibrant,” said Norman Embree Interior Health board chair.
“This includes ensuring we have bed capacity at Vernon Jubilee Hospital when we need it."
Completed as part of the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Project, Polson Tower now includes expanded emergency, maternity and pediatrics departments, ambulatory care, surgical services, intensive care, and medical device reprocessing.
Polson Tower was also recently awarded a LEED Gold certification, a “green building” benchmark in Canada.
Since 2001, more than $7 billion has been invested in health capital projects in British Columbia. British Columbia's health-care system will benefit from $2.3 billion in health-sector capital investments over the coming three years, including the Interior Heart & Surgical Centre in Kelowna and the announcement of 60 beds being added to the Polson Tower.