Health Services in Kamloops – an Industry Snapshot
Kamloops is the regional health centre for the Thompson Nicola Regional district. Medical services in Kamloops are extensive, and cover a wide range of available resources and support options.
Royal Inland Hospital (RIH) is the region’s acute care and health facility and is one of two tertiary referral hospitals in the Southern Interior with 239 acute beds and an additional 20 more beds upon completion of the expansion in 2016. RIH provides regular acute-care services, plus trauma and other specialized services to patients throughout the region. Kamloops also has several private and specialty clinics specializing in such areas as obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, urology, autism, opthalmology and surgery ranging in severity from severe to less traumatic. Therapeutic treatments are also offered by traditional and naturopath health professionals. RIH has a Level 2 Neonatal Acute Care unit, an expanded imaging department and with a state of the art emergency trauma unit is also designated as a trauma centre. Kamloops is home to a 47 bed Tertiary Psychiatric Facility located on the Royal Inland Hospital campus.
As Canada’s Tournament Capital, Kamloops’ reputation for sporting excellence has developed a cluster of international caliber medical support services that are available to residents and visiting athletes. With a long history of internationally ranked sports medicine professionals, Kamloops is the proud home to several national team physiotherapists, massage therapists, past Olympic and Commonwealth Games medical staff, and the Chief Medical Officer for the 2010 Paralympic Games.
With our incredible climate and lifestyle opportunities, Kamloops has seen a recent increase in the number of baby boomers moving to the area in preparation for their retirement years. As a result, the number of retirement residences has grown over the past few years. This growth area has created a cluster of support services to meet their needs, offering many different options for both independent and assisted-living residences.
Kamloops’ Competitive Advantages for the Health Services Industry
Regional Health Centre: Royal Inland Hospital is the primary acute care facility for the region, and one of two tertiary care centres in the Southern Interior of B.C. Kamloops’ Cancer Centre is linked to the B.C. Cancer Agency’s provincial cancer care program, and the city is also home to the $17-million Hillside Centre, one of two new state-of-the-art mental health facilities in Kamloops.
Strong Medical Support System: Over 50 agencies provide healthcare services in Kamloops, including two extended care hospital, two health units, thress private X-ray clinics and five community health centres servicing the area. Private and specialty medical centres include Canada’s only upright MRI scanner at the Welcome Back Clinic, Kamloops Surgical Centre offering private surgical procedures and Sage Sports Institute providing sports medicine from world-renowned clinicians. BC Ambulance Service has one of their three regional dispatch centres in Kamloops.
Skilled & Educated Labour Force: Kamloops provides access to a well-educated and skilled labour force of more than 54,000 workers. Thompson Rivers University has over 25,000 students enrolled in over 25 disciplines, including Health Sciences, Nursing & Respiratory Therapy, Medical Lab Assistant, Psychology and Home Support Resident Care.
Lifestyle: Kamloops has a vast landscape with plenty of room in which to play and engage in an array of recreational opportunities, all while enjoying over 2,000 hours of sunshine annually. Housing is affordable and the cost of doing business is competitive, plus the area boasts exceptional schooling options and healthcare services. Employee retention is high in Kamloops with employees citing an affordable, quality of life in the region as a major plus.
Incentives for the Health Services Industry
Red Carpet Program for Physicians: The Red Carpet Program is a medical professional’s attraction and retention program developed to increase the number of medical health practitioners living and working in Kamloops. It offers visiting medical professionals, contemplating a move to Kamloops, an opportunity to experience the lifestyle and business advantages of the city. More information
Health Services Organizations
Interior Health (IH): Interior Health was established as one of five geographically-based health authorities in 2001 by the Government of British Columbia. It is responsible for ensuring publicly-funded health services are provided to over 731,000 residents of the Southern Interior. Interior Health serves a large geographic area covering almost 215,000 square kilometres including larger communities like Kamloops, as well as a multitude of more rural and remote communities. More information
Thompson Region Division of Family Practice (TRDFP): A non-profit group established to give family physicians input into healthcare needs of patients. The TRDFP works collaboratively with the Interior Health Authority and the BC government’s Ministry of Health Services to find solutions to healthcare issues, provides advocacy and peer support for doctors. TRDFP also offers help for financial management issues, technological support for medical practices and provides mentorship and assistance in helping doctors get their practices up and running. More information
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)| Kamloops Branch: The Canadian Mental Health Association is a national nonprofit organization made up of provincial bodies and local branches. The Kamloops branch is one of 23 in British Columbia. CMHA Kamloops is dedicated to raising awareness and promoting the mental health of all people and this is achieved through the services offered directly through the Clubhouse programs, advocacy, volunteer opportunities and public education. More Information
Q’wemtsin Health Society: An assembly of healthcare professionals who believe in providing holistic health services to the Secwepemc communities who are the Skeetchestn, Tk’emlups and Whispering Pines /Clinton Indian bands. The Q’wemtsin Health Society provides services to these communities with programs such as home and community care, prenatal, addictions counseling and public health services. More information
You’ll Love Kamloops
“I’ve been a GP here over 5 years now. My wife Denise and I (a pediatrician) locumed for over 2 years before coming here in 2002. Within a week of being here, we both knew it was the place for us. From a professional point of view, it offers the GP everything. You can do as much or little as you want. Like pretty much everywhere in Canada, we’re short GP’s here (about 17 short). Specialist support here is great and work is rewarding. Financially, the pay is very competitive and office overhead is very low. I can afford to work only 4 days/week as a result. We also have a very young and very social medical community (one of the major factors attracting us here). As for the city, what can you say? If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you can’t beat it. Fabulous downhill skiing at Sunpeaks (45 minutes away), cross-country skiing 20 minutes away, and world class mountain biking all over. Beautiful lakes are everywhere. The climate here is great: hot summers and pleasant winters. Come and check us out. Maybe it will be the right fit for you.”
Rob Thomasse, General Practitioner, Kamloops, BC