Nanaimo hospital district approves borrowing for long-term care facility

Nanaimo hospital district approves borrowing for long-term care facility

An $8 million borrowing bylaw for a long-term care facility has been adopted by the Nanaimo Regional Hospital District board.

The board adopted the bylaw at its July 11 meeting to set the stage for a future long-term care facility in the region, should the province approve the project.

Such a facility is one of the five priority projects in the NRHD’s financial plan. The others are a patient tower replacement for Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, a cardiac catheterization lab, a cancer centre and a high acuity unit. The high acuity unit, to be located in the new intensive care unit, was approved by the province this past spring and has a target completion date of September 2024. The province has also approved a concept plan for a new cancer centre. Island Health’s 2022 10-year draft financial plan estimates all five projects will have a capital cost of $1.795 billion. NRHD’s share of that would be $519 million.

RELATED: New Nanaimo hospital ICU to take patients soon, replacing one of Canada’s worst units

With nearly 30 per cent of residents in the Regional District of Nanaimo over 65 years, a new long-term care facility is expected to minimize the number of seniors currently ending up in hospital due to complex care needs, NRHD says.

With the procedural step of approving the borrowing bylaw, the hospital district says it will be ready to meet its 40 per cent share of the project’s capital cost, should the province approve it. Island Health’s most current cost estimate for the facility is $285,761,654.

For 2023, the NRHD board approved a levy increase of $3.92 per $100,000 of assessed property value, bringing the levy to $35.18/$100,000 for a contribution of $18.4 million into reserves. The increase was to allow the hospital district to accumulate more reserves and reduce its reliance on borrowing, financial plan documents say. How much of the cost of a long-term care facility would be covered by reserves versus borrowing has yet to be determined, according to NRHD. As for how much this year’s tax increase will reduce the need for borrowing for a future facility, NRHD says it will not know until an actual budget for the project is approved by the province.

Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!