While he isn’t backing away from comments that the South Okangan shouldn’t expect the expansion to Penticton Regional Hospital in this term, Minister of Health Terry Lake used a visit to PRH Tuesday to reaffirm the government’s commitment to the project.
After touring the hospital, Lake confirmed the project is progressing, and if all goes well, construction could begin in three years time.
“What I meant to say is it wouldn’t be open in this term, it wouldn’t be finished. We are looking forward to getting the business plan early next year,” said Lake, adding that once the government has the finances in hand, the project would be able to proceed through the approval process. “I fully expect within a couple of years we will be getting this project underway.”
Lake said his tour of the hospital left him impressed with the need for the upgrade, and staff work in less than ideal conditions.
“They are a remarkable team there, they are doing a fantastic job under some trying conditions, given the physical plant and the age and the space they are working in,” said Lake. “They are an amazing group of people with really good outcomes, so they are to be commended.”