Work begins on new Tofino General Hospital helipad

Tofino – Helicopter access to Tofino General Hospital will resume in early 2019, thanks to a strong community partnership between Island Health, the Tofino General Hospital Foundation and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District.

The new helipad will be built on Tofino General Hospital Foundation lands located adjacent to the hospital. It is in the same general area as the existing helipad, which closed in December, 2011 after Transport Canada issued an order for upgrades. A request for proposals for construction will be issued in the coming weeks, and work will begin once the tender is awarded.

Project cost will be shared by Island Health (60 per cent) and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional Hospital District (40 per cent).

“The community has been clear that a helipad at Tofino General Hospital is an important part of the health-care picture for this region and it is great news that this project is moving forward,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “Once in place, this helipad will help ensure that the most critically ill patients are able to get to the care they need as quickly as possible.”

In late 2016, Island Health met with community stakeholders, including municipal representatives, neighbours and the hospital foundation for input into the proposed helipad. Following this consultation, a plan was developed for the project. 

“Island Health is extremely pleased the helipad is underway,” said Leah Hollins, Chair of the Island Health Board of Directors. “We know helicopter access to Tofino General Hospital is a priority for residents of the West Coast of Vancouver Island, and we appreciate the community support and feedback we received during our planning process.”

“The helipad will help to ensure residents and visitors to Tofino have access to critical emergency care if they need it,” said Scott Fraser, MLA for Mid-Island – Pacific Rim. “It will complement the already top-notch care provided by our health care professionals at Tofino General Hospital.”

“I know that hospital staff, emergency personnel, physicians and community members alike share a sense of relief and gratitude that the helipad is returning to the Tofino General Hospital,” said Josie Osborne, Chair of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional Hospital District.  “It’s a critical piece of infrastructure that has been challenging to live without, and we welcome its return.”

Central/North Island media inquiries

Cheryl Bloxham