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trauma centre

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Whistler facility would need $1.5 million upgrade The Sea to Sky Community Health Council is looking for $500,000 in additional funding to bring health care services up to where they should be, but about $1.5 million in capital funding is also needed to renovate the Whistler Health Care Centre. To turn the Whistler facility from a diagnostic and treatment centre into a Level 4 trauma centre would mean moving all administration facilities into the unfinished space upstairs and turning the entire ground floor into a 24-hour-a-day emergency care ward with holding beds, where patients can be kept under observation for up to 24 hours. Currently the health care centre can only hold patients for up to 18 hours, then they have to be transferred to the Lower Mainland. That’s a problem for visitors, whose accommodation is in Whistler, but it’s also a problem for health care in the whole corridor, as transfers take an ambulance out of the corridor for approximately six hours. "With the highway, skiing, boarding, cycling the level of trauma care needed in this corridor is very high. We have to be able to deliver that," Fran Cuthbert, chair of the Sea to Sky Community Health Council, says of the need to upgrade the Whistler facility to a trauma centre. But the Ministry of Health doesn’t see it that way. The ministry gave a Whistler expansion a low priority. The ministry recently provided the Sea to Sky Community Health Council with $110,000 for safety and security upgrades at the Whistler Health Care Centre, Pemberton Health Care Centre, Hilltop House and Squamish General Hospital. The Whistler Health Care Centre Foundation has some funds for capital expenditures, but the foundation is intended to help with equipment upgrades, not building space.

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