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Announcement delayed for new hospital beds
A planned expansion of Vernon Jubilee Hospital appears to be temporarily on hold.
Health Minister Michael de Jong will not be in Vernon Monday or Tuesday, as was expected, to announce funding for new acute care beds.
“We’re postponing the announcement because of scheduling with the minister,” said Eric Foster, Vernon-Monashee MLA.
Foster insists the government remains committed to addressing overcrowding at the hospital.
“This isn’t a delay tactic with the announcement. Nobody needs to be concerned,” he said.
Foster, community leaders, physicians, nurses and residents have been urging the government to complete the two shelled-in floors in the new Polson tower to address outstanding capacity issues.
Overcrowding has led to cancelled surgeries and patients being kept in hallways.
It’s not known if the provincial government will fund development of both floors or just one floor in the tower.
Foster hasn’t been given a date for a new announcement.
“All I’ve been told is it won’t be a long time,” he said.