Queen Charlotte hospital annex ready next month

  • Oct. 24, 2007 5:00 a.m.

Construction of the new annex building for the Queen Charlotte hospital will be fully operational by mid-December, according to Kerry Laidlaw, Hospital Site Manager. The building will house a much-needed new morgue, a maintenance workshop and office, and storage room for supplies. The annex is on the east side of the hospital. “The new morgue will be large enough for volunteers to work in to prepare the deceased for burial,” says Mr. Laidlaw. “There will be two crypts in a refrigerated room and the morgue will have a Bariatric Morgue Lift, a heavy-duty mechanical lift to prevent back injuries (to workers) when moving the deceased.” The morgue area will have a peaceful and private area where people can view and pay respects. “Since there is no funeral home on the islands…the preparation of the deceased is literally done by volunteers. Many times this is the family, friends or clans who prepare, wash and dress the deceased,” said Mr. Laidlaw. The annex is costing about $140,000, paid for by emergency capital funds from Northern Health Authority. The lift costs $10,000. The pre-fab building is on cribbings and can be moved if the new hospital is built elsewhere. Also on the hospital site, a new set of outside stairs leading from the hospital up to the medical clinic is under construction and should be finished in four weeks.