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Minister announces start of new hospitals construction

(Left to right) Don Hubbard, chair of the board of directors of the Vancouver Island Health Authority, Claire Moglove, Chair of the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District board of directors, B.C. Minister of Health Terry Lake and Dr. Jeff Beselt, a local Campbell River physician integral to the hospital
(Left to right) Don Hubbard, chair of the board of directors of the Vancouver Island Health Authority, Claire Moglove, Chair of the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District board of directors, B.C. Minister of Health Terry Lake and Dr. Jeff Beselt, a local Campbell River physician integral to the hospital's development, perform the official groundbreaking on the project Aug. 7.
— image credit: Mike Davies/The Mirror

Health Minister Terry Lake, along with Comox Valley MLA Don McRae and regional officials celebrated the start of construction on the $606.2-million North Island Hospitals Project, which will see new hospitals for Campbell River and the Comox Valley.

“Two years ago, Premier Christy Clark championed the start of this great project and today we’ve reached a significant milestone in our commitment to improve access to quality patient care for patients and families in the Comox Valley and Campbell River,” Lake said yesterday. “These new hospitals will provide residents and visitors with enhanced acute care delivery, more comfort and privacy for patients and world-class health care facilities.”

The new 39,800-square-metre (approximately 428,400-square-foot) Comox Valley Hospital will have 153 beds, replacing the 120-bed St. Joseph’s General Hospital. The new 32,300-square-metre (approximately 347,700 square- foot) Campbell River Hospital will have 95 beds, replacing the existing 79-bed Campbell River Hospital.

“I have been working closely with the health minister and government to help get these projects off the ground, and today we are seeing the payoff of that determination,” said Comox Valley MLA Don McRae. “These highly efficient acute-care facilities will provide quality, safe patient care, and help attract and retain health-care professionals to Mid-and North Island communities.”

The two hospitals will deliver patient-centred health care to families living on north and mid-Vancouver Island. Both hospitals will be constructed at the same time and be ready for patients by late 2017.

Both hospitals will feature enhanced patient rooms, including large windows that maximize natural light and views for a calming environment.

The majority of the rooms will be single-patient with private bathrooms, helping to significantly reduce hospital-acquired infection rates, enhance patient privacy, improve quality of sleep and shorten recovery times.

The North Island Hospitals Project is being cost-shared through a 60/40 spit between the Province and the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District.

The project will create approximately 1,900 direct jobs and over 1,400 indirect jobs over the construction period.

“Today’s groundbreaking events are the culmination of many years of planning and effort both by Island Health and the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital board. It is another huge step forward in our goal of enhancing health care for individuals and families in our region,” said Claire Moglove, chair of the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District board. “As the region’s population grows and health service demands continue to change, these two new state-of the-art hospital facilities will deliver high-quality acute care for years to come.”

The new hospitals will be designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification as part of government’s commitment to a greener and more sustainable future. Green hospital building design helps to create a healing environment for patients, staff and visitors.

“These hospitals will pursue excellence and innovation to deliver safe, quality health care and improved health outcomes to patients and their families,” said Don Hubbard, Island Health board chair. “Using evidence-based design, the facilities will provide patient-focused care for all North Island region residents, particularly for the elderly and Aboriginal populations.”

The North Island Hospitals Project is a public-private partnership between Island Health and Tandem Health Partners.

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