Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall wants the Minister of Health’s assurance that taxpayers won’t be footing the bill for the ongoing delays at Kootenay Lake Hospital. She had many questions for the Minister in Tuesday’s Legislature sitting, including who will be responsible to pay for the replacement of Emergency Room and Diagnostic Imaging room floors since the discovery of significant flaws in its installation.
“To have made such a major mistake in terms of the flooring…. People are asking questions in my community. I think they’re fair questions, and this is one of the questions that they’re asking. Is this something that was avoidable? If so, who’s responsible?” asked Mungall in the Legislature.
The Minister said that Interior Health has primary responsibility for this project. While he said that the cost overrun will be covered through a combination of the project’s contingency fund and warranty, he was not able to give an exact figure of what the total cost would be.
Since the original April 2009 announcement of the expansion project for Kootenay Lake Hospital there have been four subsequent announcements putting the official grand opening of the Emergency Room off to a later date.
“You know, if there was one delay, I don’t think anybody in my community would ask this question, but there have been several delays. What is that going to mean for Kootenay Lake Hospital? What is that going to mean for the community, and what can we anticipate next?” Mungall asked the Minister. “Will we get a ribbon-cutting ceremony this fall, or will there be another day?”
The Minister could not guarantee that this will be the final delay. What began as a Liberal Government pre-election promise to the community has turned into an ongoing disappointment.
MLA Michelle Mungall and New Democrat MLAs will continue to stand up for a strong public healthcare system that meets the needs of British Columbians.
Watch the video transcript here