Nanaimo ICU breaks ground to improve care
February 10, 2021
NANAIMO, BC – Construction is now underway for a more modern intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (NRGH). “This past year has demonstrated how crucial it is to invest in and maintain a strong public healthcare system,” said Adrian Dix (pictured), minister of health. “The need for a new ICU for the people of Nanaimo was clear, and I’m proud that our government responded with both a technological upgrade and an expansion in size.”
The new ICU will be three times the current unit’s size and will include improvements such as 12 larger single-patient rooms, ceiling mounted service booms and overhead patient lifts, a medication room, a family consult room, and a staff break room and rest area. It will also include a space for a high-acuity unit, a transitional place where critical-care patients need less monitoring than in the ICU.
The current 10-bed ICU, built in 1970, is outdated in its space and functionality. Once a formal request was received from Island Health in October 2017, the Ministry of Health moved forward with planning, approval and now construction to ensure residents have access to a facility that will provide enhanced care.
“I’m thrilled that the people of this region will have an improved ICU, which will benefit patients and healthcare workers,” said Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan. “With ICU demand expected to increase in coming years due to a growing population, especially in older adults, this project is necessary for the well-being of our current and future residents.”
The new ICU will cost $41.57 million, which will be cost shared between the provincial government through Island Health, the Nanaimo Regional Hospital District and the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation.
The project will create approximately 200 direct and 100 indirect jobs. The new ICU is expected to open for patients in early 2023 and will be located south of the current emergency department.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how important it is for our region to have state-of-the-art medical facilities and sufficient resources to respond to the critical healthcare needs of our residents,” said Ian Thorpe, Nanaimo Regional Hospital District. “The new ICU will be a significant addition to our local hospital. We are very pleased to be a funding partner, and to see construction getting underway.”