The Nanaimo Regional General Hospital will soon have expanded intensive care and high acuity units each with a capacity of 12 beds.
The funding for the project was announced in the provinces 2023 budget and has an estimated cost of $60.1 million for the two units, with funding shared between the provincial government, Nanaimo Regional Hospital District, and the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation.
Island Health says an intensive care unit (ICU) provides care for patients with life-threatening illnesses or injuries, while a high acuity unit (HAU) provides patients with more acute care and closer monitoring than a general hospital ward, but less than the ICU.
The NRGH currently has a temporary eight-bed HAU, which will be expanding to a permanent 12 beds. The ICU will also expand to 12 beds from the current 10.
“The temporary HAU at NRGH was integral to Island Health’s COVID-19 response,” Leah Hollins, Island Health board chair, said in a news release. “The new, permanent HAU will increase capacity and be equipped to provide patients with higher level, dedicated, specialized care that will help save lives and support the complex care needs of our population.”
Island Health says the current ICU was built in 1970 and is outdated in space and functionality.
“Nanaimo is one of the fastest growing areas on Vancouver Island and we need to ensure that services are expanding to meet the increased demands,” Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan said in a news release.
“A new HAU, along with the new ICU currently under construction, will help ensure people with critical and acute conditions in the Nanaimo area can receive the care they need, when they need it. Thank you to our partners at Island Health and local officials for being strong advocates for increased health services.”
Construction on the ICU began in February 2021 and is expected to be open for patients in June 2023. The HAU has a targeted opening date of September 2024.