Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Hospitals Announced For North Island

 $600 Million For Two New Hospitals

Premier Christy Clark today gave the green light for the North Island Hospitals Project at an estimated cost of up to $600 million, which includes two new hospitals to benefit Vancouver Island patients living in the Comox Valley, Campbell River and surrounding communities, as a part of Budget 2012.

"Our government is proud to invest in these two new hospitals to ensure North Vancouver Island families have the best medical care when they need it and where they need it, in their communities," said Premier Clark. "These projects will also create construction jobs in the region and will provide long-term opportunities for health-care professionals and their families."

Both hospitals are expected to go to procurement this spring, with construction planned to begin in 2013 and completion estimated for 2017. The cost of the project is estimated at around $600 million, but is subject to change once the procurement process is complete. The project will create approximately 1,900 direct jobs and over 1,400 indirect jobs in industries supplying goods and services used in construction.

 "The residents of the Comox Valley were very clear, the region needed improved health care services for the growing population of the North Island," said Minister of Agriculture Don McRae. "This project has been my number one priority since 2009, and I am pleased work is now underway to make it a reality. This project will provide an enhanced quality of life for the North Island residents for generations to come."

As one component of the two-hospital project, the new Comox Valley Hospital will have capacity for up to 153 beds and will replace the existing 116-bed St. Joseph's General Hospital. The plan is for the new hospital to be located at the intersection of Lerwick and Ryan roads in Courtenay, adjacent to North Island College. The design and location of the hospital will be finalized upon completion of the procurement process. VIHA has reached an agreement-in-principle with North Island College (NIC) to build the facility on land at Comox Valley campus. Steps are under way on consultation and final approvals required for the transfer of the land.

Locating the new hospital adjacent to NIC will support partnerships around the education of health-care professionals.

St Joseph's General Hospital in Comox was originally constructed in 1937, and is operated by the Archdiocese of Victoria through an affiliation agreement with Vancouver Island Health Authority.

The second component of the two-hospital project will see the new Campbell River and District General Hospital built at the existing hospital site on 2nd Avenue in Campbell River. The new hospital will have capacity for up to 95 beds, including mental-health and addictions beds. The new facility will replace Campbell River's aging 70-bed acute-care facility, which was built in 1956, with additions to the facility in 1966, 1972 and 1990. The final hospital design is subject to completion of the procurement process.

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