EDITORIAL – Is anyone surprised the patient-care tower is going ahead?

RIH patient-care tower was once a Liberal promise. Now it belongs to the NDP government.  (Mel Rothenburger file photo)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

HEATH MINISTER Adrian Dix’s announcement Monday that the Royal Inland Hospital patient care tower will go ahead as planned by the Liberals is good news.

But did anyone really think anything else would be the case?

“Clearly what’s needed in Kamloops, on top of a lot of other things, is a new patient care tower,” Dix told the media.

“Fortunately, we’re on the path and we’re going ahead. My instruction is, if there’s anything I can do to make it happen quicker, I will.”

Construction is scheduled to get underway in 2018 with a ribbon cutting in 2022.

There would have to be something drastically wrong with the books inherited from by the BC Liberals for this $417-million facility to be stopped in its tracks.

This isn’t a pipeline or a dam or even a mine. Nobody on the planet thinks improving health care is a bad idea.

If the NDP hopes to expand its base outside the Lower Mainland into the Interior (and, obviously, it does), supporting projects like this one is a necessity. It takes wind out of the sails of the hysterical anti-NDP element in this part of the province, and nullifies some political talking points from Kamloops’ two Liberal MLAs.

Fixing the doctor shortage is another challenge entirely, but it will be tough for the Liberals to blame the NDP government for something that developed over years of BC Liberal rule.

Dix played it smart on that, too, complementing the Liberals (and, indirectly, former health minister Terry Lake) for beefing up primary care facilities on the North Shore. That relieves him of the burden of having to promise something better.

But the NDP will have to show some progress on that doctor shortage.

In the meantime, he succeeded in taking the expansion of RIH away from the Liberals and making it his own commitment.

About Mel Rothenburger (6121 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – Is anyone surprised the patient-care tower is going ahead?

  1. Sure, NDP inherit a massive surplus so of course they will continue projects like this and take the credit, it the next step of spending the rest of the surplus, and then going into deficit that worries me.

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