Trail and surrounding communities will have access to improved outpatient care with the opening of a new ambulatory care wing at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital.

B.C. officials said Rock Creek, Grand Forks, Castlegar, Salmo, Nelson, the Slocan Valley, Nakusp, Kaslo and Crawford Bay will also benefit from the new wing.

“KRBH is so important to people right across the region and this redevelopment has been and continues to be a top priority for our board,” said Suzan Hewat, chair, West Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital District.

“Having an enhanced regional hospital allows people to receive care in a comfortable setting when they are most in need. We are thrilled to see this new unit opening to patients.”

According to the provincial government, the new wing will include procedure rooms, endoscopy suites and recovery rooms, new patient change rooms and natural light.

“The new ambulatory care space at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital means improved care for people in the region with more improvements also on the way,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.

“Patients and health-care workers now have access to modern operating rooms for outpatient procedures, freeing up valuable operating room time for other more complex procedures.”

More changes are scheduled to take place at the hospital, including an expansion to the oncology unit and cast clinic, an update to the physiotherapy department and a new pharmacy.

“This is great news for people in the region as we have taken another step towards a fully redeveloped Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West.

“I look forward to the new pharmacy that will be opening in the next phase as our hospital evolves into a modern facility that will serve people for decades to come.”

Provincial officials said the pharmacy will be three times bigger than the current location and open in 2022.

The budget for the care wing and pharmacy is $38.8 million with $23.3 million being funded by the provincial government and $15.5 million from the West Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital District.