Cottage hospital idea floated

Small group working on a plan for a small hospital at Arrowsmith Lodge

Leanne Salter

Leanne Salter

Even as construction continues on a new health centre in Parksville, a small group is pushing to create what they call a cottage hospital at Arrowsmith Lodge.

Speaking at Tuesday night’s Regional District of Nanaimo meeting, organizer Leanne Salter detailed the push for the creation of a four to seven-bed emergent care unit.

“Arrowsmith Lodge has the infrastructure and the whole area is good to go as far as a hospital goes,” she said. “They can provide food for 250 people, and laundry too. They have an entranceway for an ambulance to come in, as well as a receiving area, waiting room, staff room and showers. It’s incredible.”

Salter said the cottage hospital would require very little in the way of capital spending because so much of what would be needed is already in place.

She estimated the operating cost would vary, depending on how much coverage was provided.

“If we were to staff it with two registered nurses for two shifts, with no overnight care, the cost would be slightly under a million,” she said. “If we were to staff it for three or three and a half shifts, it would be more like $2.5 million to $3 million.”

Salter said the facility would offer emergent care beds for falls, bone breaks, blood pressure monitoring, primary health care, dental care, foot care, post-operative recovery, as well as X-ray and lab facilities.

In an interview, Salter said a small group has been working on the idea for the past year.

“This would not be like the Nanaimo hospital,” she said.