Penticton hospital plans for ambulatory care centre

Interior Health is ready to move forward on developing a concept plan to help guide growth for the Penticton Regional Hospital ambulatory care services.

The Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital District recently approved $700,000 for the development of the concept plan for the PRH ambulatory care centre and issued a request for proposals for architectural consulting services. The concept plan forms part of the business case that is submitted to request formal approval to proceed with the project.

“The concept plan is a positive step forward in the planning process for an ambulatory care centre at PRH,” said Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital District chair Walter Despot. “Our board will continue to work and be proactive in conjunction with IH to move this needed ambulatory care unit forward for the South Okanagan Similkameen.”

The ambulatory care centre at PRH could include medical day care, procedural services, inpatient and day surgeries, general clinics including wound care, casts, pediatrics, maternity, pre-surgical screening, transplant, endoscopy and colpscopy clinics, satellite diagnostic imaging and laboratory services, medical program expansions through the UBC southern medical program and a parkade.

“This is great news for Penticton and the entire South Okanagan region,” said Penticton MLA Bill Barisoff. “The concept plan will help ensure that Penticton Regional Hospital is ready to meet future demand for health care by outlining how an ambulatory care centre can help alleviate congestion and pressure on acute care.”

Before proceeding to final provincial approval, a capital project goes through several steps to ensure due diligence and protect taxpayers. Building on the master site plan, the concept plan is the next step in the process and will articulate the need for the project.

“The development of a concept plan will define the necessity for the renovation and expansion at Penticton Regional Hospital,” said IH board chair Norman Embree. “As a needs assessment, this will help us provide stakeholders with a clear picture of our strategy and direction going forward.”

The concept plan will articulate the requirements for program service, governance management, implementation, stakeholder engagement, human resource strategy, operating and capital funding, and risk analysis.

“The ambulatory care project closely aligns itself with the Ministry of Health Services’ vision of sustainability with the goal to bend the rising cost curve of health care by concentrating on increasing the capacity for outpatient and ambulatory care in order to decrease the demand on acute care beds,” said IH vice-president for Acute Services Allan Sinclair.

The RFP is posted on the BC Bid website ( The RFP closes on March 3 amd Interior Health anticipates awarding the successful proposal in early spring 2011.

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