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Cowichan District Hospital's $1.65-million upgrades ready soon

CDH receives its new mobile MRI diagnostic unit in two weeks. Patient scans are expected to begin around Sept. 17. - Peter W. Rusland file
CDH receives its new mobile MRI diagnostic unit in two weeks. Patient scans are expected to begin around Sept. 17.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland file

Patient care at Cowichan District Hospital is getting a $1.65-million booster shot as revamps and relocations are completed, health authority brass explained Friday.

Upgrades on-stream soon include renovations or changes in the ER, pediatrics, chemotherapy, and OR-sterilizing departments while 10 new patient spaces open, and the long-awaited MRI unit arrives.

"The approximate 1,500 chemotherapy patients seen at CDH each year will benefit from relocation of chemotherapy services to the third floor, which provides a more functional and appealing space for patients and staff," site director Peter Fahey says in a release.

"Relocating chemotherapy services has allowed the hospital to use the now-vacated area to open 10 new patient spaces for use during the busiest times in this hospital", said Dr. Len Roy, chief of staff.

A nurse-call system, and new overhead lifts are being installed to accept winter patients.

CDH has also improved its Medical Device Reprocessing Department, where surgical instruments are decontaminated and sterilized, Vancouver Island Health Authority staff says.

A new case-cart system will smooth the flow and processing of surgical gear to and from CDH's three operating rooms.

Renovations are also underway in the old pediatrics unit space too.

Changes will see existing pediatric rooms become four family centered private rooms, allowing families to be together during patient stays.

CDH's MRI pad — fronting Gibbins Road — for the continent's first mobile MRI unit will usher some 3,800 yearly scans.

The MRI is being shared with hospitals in Port Alberni, Comox, and Campbell River.

The $1.65-million tab is being shared the health ministry and VIHA, Cowichan Valley Regional Hospital District, and the CDH Foundation as a new Cowichan hospital is being planned for the current site, or property elsewhere.

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