Renovations complete at Nanaimo Cancer Clinic

Chemotherapy patients at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital's Cancer Clinic have a refreshed treatment area and upgraded pharmacy.

Chemotherapy patients at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s Cancer Clinic have a refreshed treatment area and upgraded pharmacy now that renovations totalling $1.8 million are complete.

“This renovation will be a great benefit to the thousands of central and west Island patients who receive chemotherapy treatment at NRGH annually,” Mary McNeil, minister of children and family development, said in a news release on behalf of Health Minister Michael de Jong. “These patients are now receiving their treatment in a revitalized and expanded environment while staff prepare their chemotherapy drugs in an upgraded, modern pharmacy.”

The project was cost-shared by the Vancouver Island Health Authority/Ministry of Health and the Regional Hospital District of Nanaimo.

The Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation provided a generous donation totalling $16,500 for equipment.

“We are so pleased to have contributed funding for the purchase of a new Biohazard Safety Hood for the preparation of chemotherapy drugs, and we could not have done this without the continued and generous

support of our donors,” said Maeve O’Byrne, president and CEO of the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation.

The upgrade has added one more clinic room, and the overall space has been refreshed.

Additionally, since the upgrade, the pharmacy is able to handle an increased volume of patients and also provides an improved atmosphere for patients and staff, according to a news release from the provincial government.

To further support patients, the Nanaimo Cancer Clinic has recently recruited a medical oncologist to join two general practice oncology physicians. As well, four registered nursing staff have become oncology specialty-certified with the Canadian Nurses Association.

The cancer clinic, located in the hospital’s ambulatory care unit, sees patients from the central and west coasts of Vancouver Island, including the communities of Ladysmith, Port Alberni and the Parksville-Qualicum region up to Bowser.

The Nanaimo Cancer Clinic serves approximately 3,500 chemotherapy patients annually, according to the news release.

The upgrades to the cancer clinic’s pharmacy are just one investment to improve the facilities and services at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

Since 2001, more than $100 million has been invested in building patient care for this region, including a $9.4-million renal dialysis centre and a new, state-of the art $36.9-million emergency department that is set to open later this year.