The province of British Columbia established regional hospital districts (RHDs) as a means of financing a local contribution to the costs of constructing or renovating major health care facilities such as acute care hospitals or long-term care facilities. The original cost sharing arrangement was approximately 40% of the local capital costs coming from the RHD and 60% coming from the province. Provincial legislation later changed that formula to allow greater flexibility.
RHDs are governed by the Hospital District Act. The main purposes of a RHD are to:
- establish, acquire, construct, reconstruct, enlarge, operate and maintain hospitals and hospital facilities; and
- grant aid for the establishment, acquisition, reconstruction, enlargement, operation and maintenance of hospitals and hospital facilities.
RHDs are not involved in financing or administering hospital operations.
Powell River Regional Hospital District
The Powell River Regional Hospital District (PRRHD) has the same boundaries as the Powell River Regional District and the regional hospital board is comprised of the same members as the regional board.
The PRRHD requisitions funds for the region’s local share of the debt for the acute care hospital (Powell River General Hospital). From time to time, the PRRHD also contributes to minor capital projects and equipment purchases.
The 2018 budget includes completion of a 40% cost share towards both a nurse call system and a patient monitoring system, as well as a $75,000 contribution toward capital equipment valued at greater than $5,000 but less than $100,000 for Powell River General Hospital operations.
The PRRHD also funds debt payments of the Willingdon Creek Village complex care facility. The PRRHD owns the facility and leases it to Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and it is operated by Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.
The current PRRHD residential tax rate is $25 per $100,000 of assessed value, a 3% increase from that of 2015. This level of taxation is not expected to increase in the near future. As total health care costs continue to rise, however, local taxpayers may face increased pressure to fund a broader range of health care facilities and services.