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Mobile Medical Unit takes on Pemberton's emergencies

Health centre due to have $630,000 renovation

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Pemberton is to be home to a high-tech hospital on wheels for the next seven weeks while the Pemberton Health Centre's Emergency Department undergoes renovations.

The Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) is a legacy from the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and supports a wide number of services, ranging from outpatient treatment and first aid, to resuscitation and emergency surgery.

It was located in Whistler during the Games and is now used by the B.C. Provincial Health Services Authority in partnership with all six regional health authorities.

"As an existing health resource available to us, it made perfect sense to use the Mobile Medical Unit," says Dr. Rebecca Lindley, medical director of the Pemberton Health Centre in a release. "It will enable health centre staff to continue providing patients with the same level of care while our emergency department undergoes renovations."

Aside from a shift in visitor and staff parking to an adjacent lot in order to accommodate the MMU's temporary home, Lindley said nothing else would change during renovations.

"We'll still have the same hours of operation and patients visiting our temporary emergency department can still expect the same quality care they've always received."

The $630,000 renovation includes adding a new lab space to the Health Centre as well as upgrading the emergency department and adjoining hallway.

The Pemberton Health Centre Emergency Department is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with a nurse and physician on call after hours. The Health Centre's office, lab and x-ray service will continue to be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

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