Robert Louie, chief of the Westbank First Nation, hopes to build a private hospital on band lands that would cater to wealthy medical tourists from around the world.
For two years, the band has been planning the $125-million, 100-bed private hospital facility on a spectacular 15-acre site on band lands overlooking Okanagan Lake.
But before it can proceed, the first nation needs a partner.
Louie said WFN's contribution would be the land; it is looking for a 50-per-cent partner to build the centre. "We've had discussions with Johns Hopkins but nothing is concluded yet. Having them affiliated would lend instant credibility."
The self-governing WFN has five reserves on 2,161 hectares with 700 band members. It is looking to copy clinics like Mayo and Johns Hopkins in the United States for the proposed, for-profit "five-star private health care medical clinic."
First nation eyes private hospital (external - login to view)
I'm wondering if this could be a can of worms regarding band members and even other bands wanting enhanced access. I hope not as it sounds like a good idea.