Regional funds still undetermined for VJH
Development at Vernon Jubilee Hospital is moving ahead, but all funding is still not finalized.
In seeking contractors to complete the two floors in the Polson tower, the Ministry of Health has named the North Okanagan-Columbia-Shuswap Regional Hospital District as a funding partner. But that isn’t going over well with some local politicians.
“No, there hasn’t been a decision. It’s a bit presumptuous,” said Mike Macnabb, NOCSRHD director.
“They are putting the board in a difficult position because the government is announcing this although there has been no decision yet. I don’t like that tactic.”
Of the total $29 million cost, the ministry will provide $22 million while the government states the remainder will come from the NOCSRHD and the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation. The foundation has committed to raise $2.5 million.
Rick Fairbairn, a NOCSRHD director, says while his board supports the initiative in principle, there has been no agreement to provide funding.
“There have been some discussions as to the arrangements,” he said.
“The board will convene this month as to the amount. Details have yet to be determined.”
A source of contention is the fact that NOCSRHD, through local property taxes, paid the entire $10 million cost of shelling-in the two floors so they were available in the future. At that time, some local officials stated that the ministry was not to come back to the district for funds for development.
The ministry has released a request for qualifications so contractors can indicate their interest and qualifications to design and develop the two floors in the Polson tower. The applicants will then be short-listed and invited to respond to a request for proposals.
“We’re moving forward on our commitment to improving capacity at VJH with the release of the RFQ,” said Margaret MacDiarmid, health minister.
The RFQ process will wrap up April 23.
The Interior Health Authority expects to select a preferred proponent and begin construction by late 2013, with the two floors anticipated to be completed in the summer of 2015.