New perinatal unit to be added to cardiac centre in Kelowna

Expectant mothers in the B.C. Interior will benefit from an enhanced care environment as a perinatal unit is being added to the new Interior Heart and Surgical Centre, currently under construction at Kelowna General Hospital.

“This new unit will provide moms and new babies the privacy and dignity to enjoy one of life’s greatest moments with their families and loved ones,” said Premier Christy Clark who is also the MLA for Westside-Kelowna.

The perinatal unit will replace the hospital’s existing labour and delivery unit, currently housed in the Strathcona Building. The new unit will feature expanded space, single-patient post-partum rooms and an upgraded neonatal intensive care unit. In addition, the unit will be in close proximity to the hospital’s new operating rooms, which are also designated for relocation to the centre.

“Construction of this new perinatal unit will not only support obstetrical staff, but also families in this growing region,” said Health Minister Terry Lake.

The unit will add approximately $14 million to the cost of the IHSC project and will be funded by the Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District. This will increase the total project cost to $355 million, with $276 million provided by the provincial government and $79 million by the regional hospital district.

Each year, more than 1,500 babies are born at Kelowna General Hospital.

Construction of the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre building will be complete in 2015. Further renovations to other parts of Kelowna General Hospital to support the IHSC will be complete in 2017.

“The opportunity to ensure a new perinatal unit could be included in this project means expectant moms and their babies will continue to receive excellent care for years to come,” said Robert Hobson, chairman of the Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District. “We are happy to have been able to contribute to this important addition to the IHSC project.”

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