Oceanside health centre to relieve pressure on NRGH emergency

Pressure on the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s emergency department is expected to ease next year .

Pressure on the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s emergency department is expected to ease next year when Oceanside Health Centre opens in June.

An estimated 45,000 people in the Parksville-Qualicum area will access care at the centre, relieving demand on other hospital emergency departments, such as NRGH, West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni and St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Comox Valley.

In 2010, about 10,000 people from the Oceanside area accessed emergency care at one of the three hospitals, with the majority visiting NRGH.

Sheila Cruikshank, Vancouver Island Health Auhority spokeswoman, said patients with life-threatening conditions will still need to access hospital ERs, but an estimated 8,000 patients with non-life-threatening conditions will receive treatment at the centre instead.

“They go to the emergency because there is no other access point for urgent care,” said Cruikshank.

There is also a large tourist influx in the summer months to the area, but Cruiksank said there aren’t estimates on how many will access Oceanside instead of other health facilities.

Ron Cantelon, Parksville-Qualicum Liberal MLA, said the centre will have a significant impact. He’s supported the creation of the centre since its inception.

“It’s very gratifying,” said Cantelon, about seeing the project begin construction.

He said the Oceanside Residents Association was a big part of the process in creating a plan for the centre. The association gave input about the unique needs of the community and pushed hard to become part of the process, said Cantelon.

Oceanside is a two-storey 3,640 square metre building with an estimated $15.79 million construction cost, slated to open in June, 2013. It’s located in Parksville on the corner of the Alberni Highway and Despard Avenue.

It will offer urgent care 15 hours per day from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. seven days a week. Urgent care situation include lacerations, acute pain, infections and allergic reactions and shortness of breath.

It will also serve as a primary care access point with ten health care providers including physicians, nurse practitioners and other staff. VIHA is moving all of its Oceanside services into the building so people can access them in one location. Those services include home and community care, mental health and addition, health promotion and public health programs, telehealth services and specialist’s services. It will also house an onsite laboratory and medical imaging equipment, including x-ray and ultrasound equipment.

Cruikshank said the centre will also use electronic health records, which will allow doctors to access up to date information. The electronic records will save costs on the Island because patients travelling to other locations for appointments or emergency care such as NRGH won’t have repeated tests ordered.

“This will have a significant benefit,” said Cruikshank, adding it’s an efficient model linking all Island communities.

For more information on the Oceanside Health Centre please go to www.viha.ca.

reporter3@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

Thanksgiving Food Drive returns to Port Alberni

Volunteers will go door-to-door to collect non-perishable items

Tyee Club celebrates 80 years in Port Alberni

James Clark wins Fisherman of the Year award

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs rally for the win with five goals in third period

Port Alberni team has won two games in a row at home

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

One-in-five British Columbians think they’ll win big while gambling: study

Roughly 58 per cent of British Columbians bought at least one lottery ticket in past year

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Oak Bay father’s testimony at murder trial like plot of ‘bad low-budget movie:’ Crown

Crown alleged Andrew Berry’s ‘entire story of Christmas Day is a lie’

Most Read