Penticton residents will continue to drive to Kelowna if they want expedited help with kidney and gall bladder stones.
At their Aug. 16 meeting city council denied the South Okanagan Similkameen (SOS) Medical Foundation’s $21,255 grant request that would have gone to purchasing a shock pulse urology machine for Penticton Regional Hospital.
City staff had recommended instead a grant of $10,628, half of the request from the foundation.
With this machine PRH would be able to provide enhanced and timelier non-invasive treatment for kidney or gall bladder stones, reducing patient complications and post-procedure recovery time. It would also increase the number of patients served, effectively reducing the waitlist, said the SOS in their bid for the grant.
Currently, the nearest hospital equipped with the machine is Kelowna General.
The total cost for a shock pulse urology machine is $38,733. The SOS made the late request for funding because it had an unexpected cost in their 2022 budget.
While the council supported the machine being brought to PRH, it didn’t support giving the SOS the grant money.
The grant request was made mid-year of the city’s budgeting because the SOS was short money they hadn’t calculated owing for taxes. The foundation had to pay for two properties it owns, leading to a shortfall in their budget.
David Kampe gifted the SOS Medical Foundation with two neighbouring properties on Camrose Street. The foundation rented the properties to a for-profit business but failed to budget in that they would then lose their permissive tax exemption.
“If the properties are leased to for-profit, isn’t the shortfall covered by the rent?” asked Coun. Katie Robinson.
At the time of the rental agreements, SOS didn’t account for the property tax costs and didn’t set in the price of rent.
Robinson said that coming to them after the budget has been set is just one of the things she has problems with.
Both Robinson and Miller shared concerns about Interior Health downloading costs onto municipalities.
Miller took issue again with IH’s decision to close Pathways addictions resource centre in the middle of an opioid crisis and paying its CEO $350,000 per year.
Robinson did suggest that the SOS apply for funding to the RDOS’s hospital board.
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