Columbia Valley Pioneer staff

A new agreement with Interior Health (IH) is expected to strengthen Kootenay East Regional Hospital District (KERHD) and its care for residents.

According to IH, the memorandum of understanding (MOU) will enhance existing relationships with seven regional hospital districts as they work towards completing capital projects.

For example, projects currently underway in the KERHD include the installation of a biomass boiler at Invermere & District Hospital and establishing an Invermere Primary Care Network.

As part of the capital planning process, IH submits a funding request letter to regional health districts  each December outlining the equipment, capital improvement projects and digital health investments for each region. 

Interior Health says the MOU strengthens information sharing, transparency and collaboration between the authority and the hospital districts. 

“Our regional hospital districts are key partners when it comes to capital projects in our regions,” said IH president Susan Brown. “Their financial support to build, renovate and update our health care facilities is integral to improve patient care and this agreement provides better clarity about the Interior Health planning and funding process,” she said.  

Brown noted the agreement addresses a number of concerns which were the focus of negotiations over the past few months. 

“We are confident this memorandum of understanding is a positive step forward in terms of accountability and will serve to create a better working relationship between Interior Health and the regional hospital districts,” she pointed out.