Construction barriers are up at Port Alberni’s West Coast General Hospital as construction to expand the department begins.
Built in 2001, the West Coast General Hospital serves not only residents of Port Alberni, Tseshaht and Hupacasath First Nations but also those from outlying towns and villages.
“West Coast General Hospital is an important part of the community for residents in the area including Port Alberni, Tofino, Ucluelet, Bamfield, Hupacasath and Tseshaht First Nations, Uchucklesaht Tribe, Huu-ay-aht and Ditidaht First Nations, Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government, Toquaht, Tla-o-qui-aht, Ahousaht and Hesquiaht First Nations,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.
The Emergency Department at WCGH typically sees 25,000 patients per year – that is just over 68 patients a day.
When complete, the department will be expanded by 244 square meters (2,626 square feet). According to the provincial government, improvements will feature three new patient exam beds, extra space for patients awaiting tests and results, improvements to the triage and admitting area and a dedicated entrance for ambulances.
In addition, there will be a more secluded, private space for patients needing emergency mental health care. The new seclusion room will provide added security and privacy. Currently, a space near the emergency department entrance is used for such cases.
The $6.25 million cost of the project will be split three ways between the provincial government, which is providing $2.55 million, the West Coast General Hospital Foundation, which is contributing $2 million, and the Alberni-Clayoquot Region District’s $1.7 million.
The expansion is expected be completed in December 2022.