RDN won’t back cottage hospital idea

Non-Vancouver Island Health Authority facility fails to find traction at RDN board

The Regional District of Nanaimo won’t be throwing its support behind a proposal for a so-called cottage hospital in Oceanside.

At Tuesday night’s committee of the whole meeting, chief administrative officer Carol Mason noted that in a presentation in February, Leanne Salter urged the board to appoint a director to her group’s steering committee and give it their support.

However, Mason said the RDN operates under regional hospital district legislation and she suggested it is not the RDN’s role to support a non-VIHA facility.

The proposal didn’t go down without a fight however, as Coombs-Hillers director Julian Fell strongly supported the idea.

“They were not asking for money,” he said.

“They were asking for moral support and continued monitoring while they attempt to bring the community on board,” he said. “The community definitely wants a hospital. That’s what I can detect. It doesn’t have to be a big one, but it has to be there. It’s just a commitment to stay in touch and support it and have a liaison position.”

However, when it came to a vote, directors voted to receive the request without action, with Fell and Deep Bay-Bowser director Bill Veenhof voting in opposition.