Frequently asked questions and answers from recent community meetings


The following FAQ has been developed to respond to common questions and themes raised at North Island Hospitals Project community meetings held in October 2013.

Community Involvement:

How will the local communities be engaged on the North Island Hospitals Project?

  • One mechanism of community engagement on the project is through quarterly community meetings. These meetings provide an opportunity to publicly raise key issues important to the community. Since December 2012, the project team has met with over 800 individuals and groups. This will continue over the life of the project.
  • Questions from the public regarding the NIHP are responded to within two weeks via the NIHP website,
  • In addition to public meetings, a Community Advisory Committee will be established. This committee will be made up of approximately 25 individuals from across the Comox Valley, Campbell River and Mt. Waddington regions, and will be actively engaged in the existing User Groups to provide community/patient input on aspects of hospital design including: way finding, inpatient rooms, the emergency department and other areas. We are working closely with Impact BC, Patient Voices Network and Patients as Partners to develop the committee. We anticipate having a committee in place by April 2014. A call for participants will be issued in early 2014.

Will there be an opportunity for Aboriginal communities to engage with the Aboriginal Island Health board member and amongst each other?

    • The North Island Hospital’s Project Aboriginal Working Group will play an important and considerable role around culturally appropriate aspects of design. Aboriginal groups also work with Island Health’s Aboriginal Health department on topics of relevance and importance to Aboriginal services and health. Island Health and the North Island Hospitals Project team encourage all groups to get together and discuss key issues important to them as a community and bring these forward.  Chief Project Officer Tom Sparrow is pleased to meet with stakeholders, including Aboriginal groups, interested in discussing the project.

Will neighbours of the hospitals be consulted on landscaping?

    • Once the preferred proponent (the team that is building the new hospitals) is in place, landscaping plans will be drafted and shared at community public meetings.

Why do VIHA/Island Health executives not attend the North Island Hospitals Project public meetings?

    • North Island Hospitals Project public meetings take place regularly so the local Project team can provide the local community with an update on the project and to gather feedback from residents and stakeholders. The Island Health Executive and Board are very involved in the hospitals project and are monitoring it closely, and the local project team regularly updates Island Health’s leadership on the project, including concerns both within and outside of the Project team’s scope.



How were bed numbers for the new hospitals calculated?

    • The bed numbers for the North Island Hospitals Project were developed using detailed analysis that considered future population projections, health needs of the population and anticipated changes in healthcare service delivery for the Comox, Campbell River and North Island geographic areas.  The methodology used to determine the acute (hospital) bed numbers is a standard approved by the Ministry of Health that is consistently applied across the Province for all health capital planning projects in British Columbia.
    • The hospitals are being designed with flexibility that would allow bed designations to shift should future requirements change.

Will there be a multi-denominational spiritual room in the hospital?

    •  There will be a spiritual room built into each of the new hospitals. These will be open to all members of the public and all faiths.

Will the new hospitals have a family room where family members can stay when a family member is in the hospital?

    •  Inpatient rooms in the new hospitals will be larger than they are in the current hospital and each room has a large seating area that can be slept on.

Will there be outdoor areas on each floor of the hospital for patients, caregivers and staff that are wheelchair accessible?

    • The new hospitals will have multiple outdoor spaces and gardens, including healing gardens with traditional/local herbs and plants as well as water features. These will be located on the ground floor of the hospital and will be wheelchair accessible.

How was the number of parking stalls determined?

    • A parking analysis was done to determine the required amount of parking at the new Campbell River hospital.
    • The existing Campbell River Hospital has 255 parking stalls, plus a few spaces at the existing Thrift Shop/Yucalta Lodge parking lot.
    • The new Campbell River Hospital will have 408 vehicle parking stalls.
    • For more information and details on parking stall breakdown and location parking visit: and

Why can’t members of the public park in the Campbell River physicians’ gated parking lot when it is empty?

    • Dedicated physician parking is standard across facilities in British Columbia.
    • Physicians play a vital role in delivering care in the Campbell River Hospital and a dedicated physician parking lot will ensure that physicians have timely access to parking so they can see their patients.
    • Times when physicians park vary and depend on when they need to see patients, so this lot needs to be reserved for physicians at all times. Similar arrangements exist at other Island Health facilities.


Health Services:

Will the new hospitals have inpatient Mental Health and Substance Use beds for youth?

    • Island Health recognizes that there is a need for child and youth mental health services in the North Island, and we are committed to meeting this need in a manner that makes the most effective use of resources. The new Campbell River Hospital will not have specifically designated inpatient psychiatric beds for youth because the need for these types of beds in the North Island is quite low.
    • Island Health has made special design accommodations so that two beds in the psychiatric unit can be separated to provide appropriate care for adolescents. The special design includes space for separate dining areas. Rooms are large enough to accommodate a sleeping area for parents when appropriate and desirable. In addition, the three pediatric inpatient beds in Campbell River and six beds in Comox will be able to provide care to children with mental health conditions. This approach will ensure available psychiatric beds are effectively used and that staff have the knowledge and skills to provide the required care for this patient population.

What is Island Health’s plan for palliative care beds?

    • End-of-Life care, including palliative care services and beds are a priority for Island Health. End-of-Life care is provided in a variety of settings, including in people’s homes and in residential care and hospital settings. The vast majority of End-of-Life care is not provided in hospital, but in people’s homes and residential care settings. In cases where people receive End-of-Life care in hospital, this care is provided with dignity and compassion. The new hospitals in Campbell River and the Comox Valley will have the capacity to deliver End-of-Life/palliative care to patients.
    • Island Health has developed an End-of-Life plan which focuses on range of priorities that will improve end of life care. For more information see: and FAQs: End of Life Care and Community Hospice Beds

Will there be a renal dialysis program in the new Campbell River hospital?

    • Renal dialysis programs are not required to be located in hospitals and are in fact more appropriately located in community settings. Community based renal dialysis facilities are located in Saanich, Cumberland and Nanaimo.
    • Island Health’s long term plan for kidney dialysis care in Campbell River is for a community-based facility in the area. The size of the facility will be determined based on an analysis of the needs and collaborative discussions with the BC Renal Agency and Renal Services clinical leadership.


Support Services:

Will food services at the new hospitals be the same as at the Patient Care Centre at the Royal Jubilee hospital?

    • We recognize food services at Royal Jubilee and Victoria General are well received and contribute to the health recovery of patients. The design specifications in the new Campbell River and Comox Valley Hospitals will support steam cooking methodology similar to what is in use at Royal Jubilee and Victoria General.

Will local food be incorporated into the food services program?

    • Island Health is committed to sourcing local food for our patients.
    • Fifty per cent of the bread and proteins on Central and North Vancouver Island are sourced locally.
    • Discussions are presently underway to improve access to traditional foods through a traditional food program.