Parkade, surgical tower proposed for Royal Inland Hospital
It’s a good start.
That’s the reaction from Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar following the release of the anticipated Royal Inland Hospital master site plan.
“We’ve been asking for substantial expansion plans, I think that’s been shown in this plan,” he told KTW.
A new multi-storey surgical tower and a new multi-storey parkade have been highlighted as the two main priorities in the plan, which was released on July 12 and had been about a year in the making.
Though he likes the plan, Milobar said the next priority is to make sure there are dollars available to bring the project to a reality.
He also believes the plan will help repair the image of the hospital, which as taken a beating in the last couple of years.
The site plan reflects anticipated program needs and demographics for the next 15 years and into the future.
The surgical and inpatient tower would ideally be built next to the laboratory building on the east side of the hospital, while the parkade would ideally be situated in front of RIH, at the entrance at Columbia Street and Third Avenue — the very site that was the focal point of a controversy last decade, culminating in a successful campaign to save the mature trees that now stand at the hospital’s entrance.
Royal Inland Hospital administrator Marg Brown said the plan would likely mean the removal of some of the trees, but added the hospital will work with the city and community during the process.
The parkade would have about 300 stalls.
There are now 596 parking spots on Royal Inland Hospital property, 365 in the rear parkade and 231 surface spaces.
In addition, the IHA leases 322 off-site parking spots near the hospital, but the report stated the health authority wants to review the lease set-up as “it loses considerable potential monthly revenue from the leased stalls.”
Brown said it’s important to tackle the parking problems before moving to other issues in the hospital.
“It’s difficult to expand programs and services if you don’t have anywhere for people to park,” she said.
As for the tower, the plan is to build new and larger operating room theatres to meet volume of equipment needed in a modern room.
Though there are no hard timelines in the plan, Brown said RIH officials are building an internal business case to have the two projects included for consideration in next year’s capital budget process.
The report stated there is a mid-day parking-stall shortfall of 315 at the hospital, while noting hospital staff members park in stalls designated for patients and visitors. Meanwhile, 55 per cent of patients of and visitors to RIH gave parking an average score of “1” on a scale of “1” to “10.
By 2016, according to the report, the hospital will need an additional 60 beds — 22 medical, nine surgical, four adult mental health, two pediatric mental health, two maternity, one pediatric, three intensive care and eight rehabilitation.
In addition to site access and surgical capacity, the need to redesign and expand the inpatient unit and increase the focus on ambulatory care were also identified as key components of the plan.
The report also noted the possibility of eventually demolishing the Alumnae tower.
To learn more about the plan, you can attend an open house in the hospital’s main lobby. It will be held on Tuesday, July 19, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Following the open house, a model will be on display in the main floor lobby area of Royal Inland for staff, physicians, patients and visitors to view from July 20 to July 22.