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Last month Forestry took the limelight, and before that, Mining. This month’s feature employer is Health Care.

Interior Health Authority is the largest single employer in Kamloops. Here are some numbers of what things look like now:
– IHA have 19,203 staff (as of February 2014)
– 1,504 physicians with privileges
in IH’s acute facilities (as of February 2014)
– 1356 IHA acute beds
– approximately 3000 IHA staff work in Kamloops (Venture Kamloops)
– Royal Inland Hospital has 216 inpatient beds

As Kamloops’ largest employer, it is important to understand how IHA job prospects look.

Will existing IHA jobs remain stable? Will we see shrinking jobs, or growth?

The IHA website has detailed population data of the Kamloops region, which needs to be accurate to ensure proper planning of health service delivery.

As real estate investors, we benefit from a disinterested party doing detailed population analysis. This cross reference can prevent us from developing confirmation bias :

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The Kamloops Local Health Area is about 112,000 people and has an average age similar to the national average, with a larger portion of people in early-mid 20s.

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The average age in Kamloops is also getting younger with more births than deaths.

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Check out the following occupancy rate. It would be nice to have this as a landlord, but the healthcare system is being stressed over capacity by an increasing population.

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Increasing RIH occupancy year after year could mean people are getting sicker, and that would not be good.

However, if we dig a little deeper, we see that many of these beds are taken by births. This indicates steady population growth.

– births are the most common type of acute care and inpatient care

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– about 850 birth procedures were at RIH in the 2012/2013 fiscal year, approximately 20% of all care visits

Revisiting the question: what are job prospects for Kamloops’ largest employer?

IHA is responding to the population growth in Kamloops by investing heavily in the area.

Completed expansions:
-$27.5 million – Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops for expanded emergency and medical imaging departments
-$11 million – Royal Inland Hospital’s new Intensive Care Unit

Planned expansions:
– the first phase of the RIH redevelopment is the Clinical Services Building, currently under construction(spring 2014)
currently under construction photos
– $80M in construction for 350 parking stalls, UBC Medical School teaching space/ lecture theatre, and outpatient service centre
– 51 more acute beds to be added to RIH by 2022(24% capacity increase, Interior Health Capital Strategy 2013 – 2023)

With expanded medical services needed, there will be job growth in Kamloops Health Care.

Conclusion
IHA is not in the business of real estate, so this data can be relied on without fear of bias. IHA’s projected population growth for Kamloops is for growth, especially for the younger segment.

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As I have said before, population growth = future real estate value growth.

By watching this major employer we see yet another indicator of the coming boom in Kamloops!

Until next time ,

Stay S.A.F.E.