A proposal for a Health Care Facility on Gabriola Island

  • The Gabriola Health Care Society (the "GHCS") is a volunteer, community initiative to improve our health care; we want Gabriola to be included in ongoing Vancouver Island Health Authority ("VIHA") plans to accomplish this goal.


  • Currently, some of our health care on the island is delivered on an ad hoc basis in less than optimal conditions, and our existing facilities are stretched to the limit.
  • Gabriola doesn't have a place where patients can be stabilized, a frequent medical necessity to avoid worsening their condition en route to Nanaimo.
  • Due to a lack of suitable storage, we haven't been approved for the use of clot busters and other drugs. This facility could also be used when the ambulance is off-island or in the event of multiple casualties.
  • Individuals don’t always receive treatment, information on prevention and disease management, or even immunization, because we can’t always get these and other services here on the island.
  • If we are to retain our current health care professionals and attract more, improved facilities are required.
  • Communication between the excellent health care providers on-island would be significantly improved if they worked from a common space. Fewer patients would fall between the cracks in a network of physicians, public health nurses, rehabilitation and other health care professionals and services.


  • The proposed Gabriola Health Care facility should be able to house up to three physicians, as well as other health care workers. These individuals will rent/lease space in the facility.
  • The facility will also provide space that is equipped for acute emergencies, a small lab and potentially emergency x-ray facilities linked to the hospital in Nanaimo. GHCS will lobby VIHA and other sources to fund these services.
  • There could also be one or more nurses and/or nurse practitioners, depending on VIHA and other funding.
  • As well, the proposed facility will have space for visiting public health nurses, mental health workers and baby/immunization clinics, as well as for suitable administrative resources
  • This isn’t a hospital; it’s not going to be staffed 24 hours a day. In no way will it interfere with current individual arrangements with health care providers.


  • The facility must comply with local zoning and BC and federal building codes. The requirements range from ventilation to accessibility.
  • All possible locations and venues will be considered that meet these requirements.
  • The choice for the community will be based on compliance with the codes, appropriateness of the location as determined by the health care professionals involved, including the ambulance service, and finally, on rent/lease agreements.


  • This facility is for all residents of Gabriola, all of whom that are over age 18 are automatically members of the Gabriola Health Care Society unless they choose not to be. The facility will help ensure that taxes which we currently pay will be used in part to support health care here on the island. The GHCS looks forward to working with individuals, businesses, groups and organizations in order to determine what sort of facility is needed and to raise the funds required such as occurred in the highly successful Lifepak campaign.

May 31, 2007

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