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New equipment for Sechelt Hospital

New equipment for Sechelt Hospital

Sechelt Hospital will be receiving more than $3.4 million in capital equipment upgrades over the coming year.  The Sunshine Coast Regional Hospital District (SCRHD) board approved using funds collected from local property taxes to fund just over half of this amount at its Jan. 23 meeting.  Funding from Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) for the remainder was confirmed by Johan Marais, VCH’s regional director of capital planning, who was at the meeting. 

The equipment being purchased falls into two categories.  Items valued at over $100,000 are cost- shared by the two funding groups, with VCH paying 60 per cent of the costs. For 2020, three such purchases, with a total value of $2.3 million have been approved.  These are the replacement for the hospital’s emergency electrical power back up system and three air conditioning chillers as well as acquisition of a larger capacity oxygen system. 

The SCRHD annually allocates $275,000 of the local taxes collected into a reserve to pay for its share of major capital purchases for the hospital.  With the Jan. 23 approvals, approximately $1 million remains in this reserve to fund future needs.   

The SCRHD will also provide just over $1 million to the hospital this year to fund the full cost of a range of smaller capital equipment purchases to support patient care.  The board has been contributing $240,000 per year into a minor capital equipment fund and has $1.12 million available.

The Board approved funding for the full list of equipment that was brought forward at the meeting by Gerry Latham, VCH’s Sunshine Coast director.  Most of the items, which range from new beds, to diagnostic and treatment equipment, and operational support items like washing machines will be replacements for items that have been in use since the hospital renovation was completed in 2013.  Latham noted that many of these are the end of their lifecycles based on the amount of use they have seen.  The hospital is also looking to double up on the number of certain pieces of equipment, to improve efficiency and reduce patient wait times.  

Purchasing teams, made up of hospital staff who work with the equipment, will now make decisions on ordering these items.  Latham stated this process should be complete by the fall.  

The SCRHD board is comprised of the SCRD area directors.  At the Jan. 23 meeting, the board re-elected Area B Director Lori Pratt as chair and Area E Director Donna McMahon as co-chair for 2020.   

Connie Jordison 

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