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Hospital District sets 2018 budget, approves IHA upgrades

The West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District has passed a bylaw which outlines its 2018 budget. It will carry a 3% increase at just over $7.9 million. The residential property tax rate per $1,000 of assessment is $82.73 a year for a home worth $300,000.

Vice chair Grace McGregor, who sat in on last week’s board meeting for chair Aimee Watson, explains the rationale behind the increase.

A number of projects pitched by the Interior Health Authority gained approval and funding from the hospital district. This includes various projects at Trail’s Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital, Nelson’s Kootenay Lake Hospital, Grand Forks’ Boundary Hospital and a number of clinics and care facilities in the region. Most deal with equipment upgrades.

McGregor says some projects have on hospital district’s wish-list for quite some time.

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Projects include vocera expansion and integration at a number of facilities, adding improved wheelchair access, ultrasound area improvements, upgraded monitors and more.

Much of the meeting was dedicated to an Interior Health delegation which focused on a pilot project which would focus on a regional shift from acute to primary care and better utilizing resources at local clinics. McGregor says she and the board were impressed. She says establishing a primary care network to keep patients in their communities would be an ideal situation.

Some directors questioned what a funding model for such a network would look like.

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