News » Whistler

Olympic medical needs undetermined


There are still many unknowns about what the Whistler Health Care Centre may look like when the Olympics come to Whistler in 2010.

The bid book states that B.C. will invest roughly $556 million on restructuring, physical plant upgrades, major equipment upgrades and other capital projects related to health care. It does not get into specifics about what Whistler or Vancouver will need to meet the Olympic demands on the local health care system. That work will be left to the Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, which is in the process of being formed.

"That’s the part that’s under the big debate, how much enhanced diagnostics they will either demand or suggest (for the Olympics) and how much enhanced medical capability beyond what we do now they’ll suggest," said Mohr.

Now that Vancouver and Whistler have been awarded the Games, Mohr wants to ensure the local medical team has a voice in the planning process.

"I want to make sure we are heard," said Mohr.

"We’re aware of the transport issues and the problems in terms of dealing with trauma here already and so we just need to be able to tell them what the local issues are and then we can come to the best decisions.

"There’s no simple answer."

For the long term, however, Simon wants to ensure that Whistler’s health system has a legacy for the local community long after the Olympics have come and gone.

"As chair of the foundation, I’m extremely concerned that we get moving quickly and put in our plea to the people making the decisions that we have adequate health care facilities for everything related to the Olympics," said Simon.

"They must be something that’s a legacy and sustainable for our community."