RDN ponys up $6.3m for centre

Half of their share for Oceanside Health Centre coming from Nanaimo

An impassioned plea to slap a moratorium on funding for the Oceanside Health Centre fell on mostly deaf ears at Tuesday night’s Nanaimo Regional Hospital District meeting. Denise Mottle spoke as a delegation held prior to the regular monthly Regional District of Nanaimo meeting March 27.

“We don’t want the health centre,” she said. “Doctors were not consulted, the public was not consulted and the results are shown by a very irate community.”

As evidence, Mottle cited a well-attended meeting on the issue at the Qualicum Beach Seniors’ Activity Centre and a rally opposing the health centre outside MLA Ron Cantelon’s office.

“People are appalled by this health centre, which was quietly established with no approval from the public,” Mottle said. “Having 15 hours of coverage in the clinic is not enough for us. We need a 24-hour urgent care facility, with beds for short term stays, convalescence and palliative care. Is this really too much to ask?”

Mottle’s plea got at least some support around the board table, with Nanaimo alternate director Leanne Salter urging her colleagues to impose a funding moratorium until further community involvement has been addressed.

However, when it came time for board members to vote on a bylaw to authorize borrowing to pay for the regional district’s 40 per cent share of the $15.79 million tab — approximately $6.3 million, only Salter voted in opposition and the motion carried.