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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

The Ministry of Health received your request for access to information under FOIPPA on December 11, 2018 (this with regards to the Nanaimo ICU announcement of Nov 21st)

On Wednesday November 21st, I presented a post entitled; As a new ICU for Nanaimo General Hospital is announced, one medical staffer says the current one is, “…the grossest in Canada”

NDP Health Minister Adrian Dix
There were a number of follow-up questions I had regarding the announcement, made by Health Minister Adrian Dix, and so I contacted (as advised by a spokesperson from Island Health) the Nanaimo area media contact.

My questions were fairly simple I thought:
I understand the formal request for the new ICU was made to the government in October 2017 -- are you able to elaborate on the process for how this is / was done, and who formally makes the request on behalf of the hospital (or is it Island Health which makes the request)?

I have been informed that for new government facilities, there is usually a three to five year capitol plan created to prepare and develope the project, as well as the time needed for creating the business plan.  It seems from those numbers, that preparation for the new ICU must have begun several years ago; would I be correct in this?  If not, are you able to advise when the business and capitol plan was developed?

The existing 10 bed ICU facility has been severely over-crowed for some time now, and this year is expected to care for 2,500 people.  The new facility is expected to be caring for an additional 700 patients (or a 30% increase) within the next 15 years.  How many beds will be in the new ICU, and how far in to the future do you expect it will be able to meet the needs of hospital patients in the region?

Lastly, I understand that an HAU (High Acuity Unit) differs somewhat from an ICU, in that patients needs are not quite as acute -- would this be correct?  Does NRGH currently have HAU beds, and are any additional ones planned as part of the new ICU project? 

Despite several promises to provide the information, it was NOT forthcoming.  As a result, I placed a Freedom of Information Request.  Confirmation of my request, an edited version which follows below, was received today; I hope to be able to provide details on the questions asked, later in January.

December 11, 2018

Re:  Request for Access to Records 
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) 

The Ministry of Health received your request for access to information under FOIPPA on December 11, 2018.  We understand your request to be for:
Regarding the new ICU in Nanaimo, the request which was made to government in 2017
  • All records relating to this request including the dates the request was made, who formally made the request and if the process was different than normally followed;
  • Records indicating who/what body prepared the business and capital plan and the length of time it took to prepare; Records indicating how long this new facility will be able to meet the needs of Nanaimo before another expansion will be required;
  • Records indicating the difference between HAU and ICU, including how many HAU beds NRGR currently has and if any additional beds will be provided as part of this new project.
...  we will make every effort to respond to your request by January 25, 2019.  We will notify you as soon as possible if there is a need to extend the time limit for responding to your request.

Please note that this is an acknowledgement of your request and that an assessment of potential fees specific to your request has not been made at this time ... in the event that there is a fee associated with your request, you will be contacted at a later date with a fee estimate.

Please also be advised that the response to your request (subject to limited exemptions) will be published on the BC Government’s Open Information website after its release to you.  Your identity will be protected in the response.  To find out more about Open Information please access the Open Information website at:

Should you have any questions now or during the processing of your request please contact our office at 250 abc-1234 (number edited from this post) and ask to speak with the analyst assigned to your request.  Please quote the file number(s) identified at the top of this letter.

If calling from Vancouver dial ....

Jan Doe (name edited from this post) 
Consolidated Intake Information Access Operations

Stay tuned ...


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