The much anticipated grand opening of Kootenay Lake hospital’s new emergency wing has been postponed until the new year.
The addition was scheduled to be opened on Friday, but because of several delays Ingrid Hampf of Interior Health says the opening has been pushed to the end of January.
“We’ve been reviewing where are to date with getting the last bits of the finishing done for the project,” says Hampf. “As of [last Wednesday] we have decided rather than rushing through the last pieces of the finishing we will delay the grand opening.”
Some of the pieces Hampf described was last minute finishing, missing millwork (ie. desks) and back ordered pieces of equipment.
“Some of our millwork isn’t complete yet so some of the desks that were missing and some of the key pieces of equipment of been back ordered for weeks and weeks and we’re not confident they’ll arrive for the end of November,” she said.
“What that means is that starts to push us into about mid-December in the Christmas season and with so many staff on vacation it’s not the right time for us to move in during that period. That’s why we said January because we have that whole holiday season in there which isn’t conducive to us moving into a new facility.”
Hampf said at last Wednesday’s meeting they elected to make sure all the work is complete so that patient care isn’t being compromised.
“We thought seeing as we do have an emergency department that is open and running and is giving good patient care,” she said. “Rather than trying to compromise patients by moving them in sooner and us work around them, we elected to pause and just do it right the first time and get all those little deficiencies completed before we put patients in there.”
Even though the new emergency wing will not be open, Hampf wanted to emphasize the fact that the hospital and Interior Health are committed to having the new CT scanner up and running on December 5.