April 30, 2012 by Andrew Snook
British Columbia’s North Vancouver Island residents will be receiving improved health care services in the form of two new hospitals.
The province’s budget for 2012 includes the approval for the North Island Hospitals Project – the building of the Comox Valley Hospital and the replacement of Campbell River and District General Hospital – which will replace two aging hospitals in Comox Valley, B.C. and Campbell River, B.C. at an estimated cost of $600 million.
The hospitals are expected to go to procurement this spring, with construction of both facilities starting in 2013 and completion expected in 2017.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark made the announcement on April 26.
The project is expected to create approximately 1,900 direct jobs and more than 1,400 additional indirect jobs.
The Comox Valley Hospital will replace St. Joseph’s General Hospital, originally built in 1937 in Comox, B.C.
The new facility will cost approximately $344 million and have a maximum capacity of 153 beds, up from the 116-bed capacity at St. Joseph’s General.
The hospital’s planned location is at the intersection of Lerwick and Ryan roads in the City of Courtenay, B.C. in Comox Valley, next to North Island College (NIC), designed to support partnerships for educating health-care professionals.
The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) and the NIC reached an agreement-in-principle to have the hospital built on land at Comox Valley Campus. The design and location of the new facility will be finalized when the procurement process is complete.
The new Campbell River and District General Hospital will cost approximately $266 million and will be constructed on the existing hospital site, located on 2nd Avenue in Campbell River, originally built in 1956.
It will have a 95-bed capacity including mental-health and addictions beds – 25 more than the current 70-bed acute-care facility. The final design of the hospital is subject to the completion of the procurement process.
“Residents of the Campbell River and the Comox Valley areas and northern Vancouver Island communities need and deserve these new acute-care facilities,” said Don Hubbard, VIHA board chair. “These two new hospitals will improve safety, efficiency and clinical outcomes and assist VIHA in our goal to provide timely, accessible, high-quality care closer to home.”
The cost for constructing both hospitals will be jointly funded by the provincial government and the Comox-Strathcona Regional Hospital District.
The funding for the two hospitals is part of the province’s three-year, $2.3 billion health sector capital plan, which also includes funding for the Royal Jubilee Hospital Patient Care Centre in Victoria, B.C., a new emergency department and kidney dialysis centre at Nanaimo General Regional Hospital in Nanaimo, B.C., and a new emergency department at Victoria General Hospital in Victoria, B.C.