An artist’s rendering of the Cariboo Memorial Hospital as it would look if and when the facility’s Master Site Plan is implemented.

Hospital master site plan released

The Interior Health Authority has released its master site plan for Cariboo Memorial Hospital.

The Interior Health Authority has released its master site plan for Cariboo Memorial Hospital.

The plan, described as a “roadmap,” proposes key areas for hospital development in order to meet the needs of a projected changing population and evolving health-care practices through the next 15 years. It proposes a new one-storey inpatient unit — that includes the obstetrical and medical/surgical unit — an expansion and redesign of emergency and ambulatory care as well as a new build for the pharmacy.

Other areas to be addressed are a redesign and expansion of priority clinical support services and the creation of a new parking lot for staff and visitors; access and circulation through the hospital site has also been identified as an item to be addressed.

However, at this point, there is neither funding nor the promise of funding for any of the identified areas.

“What this is is a guiding document that provides clear vision and direction,” said Allison Ruault, Cariboo Memorial Hospital administrator.

“We’ve never had anything that looked at the whole site for quite a number of years and so it was time to really do that work and take a look at the site overall so that’s what this does.”

The next phase, according to Ruault, will be to identify which piece to focus on first.

The master site plan provides the hospital with a business plan that can be taken to the Interior Health Authority and the Ministry of Health to make a case for funding for project development.

The site plan does call for additional beds at the facility but Ruault says those are based on a projection of need through the next 15 years.

A similar plan to this for CMH was completed at least a decade ago but populations and health-care needs and practices change.

“This is just a really exciting project. It’s something I’ve really wanted because the site has needed it,” Ruault said.

“This is one step of many but it is a giant step … . Now we have a roadmap for where we need to go.”

In a press release, Interior Health Authority board chair Norman Embree said the authority recognizes the demand for health-care services in Williams Lake and the region, adding the health authority needs to be prepared to meet the increasing demand.

The development of the master site plan began last year with input from stakeholders.

The public is invited to view the plan at an open house July 18 from 4-8 p.m. in the Deni House education room.

The plan can also be viewed by visiting www.interiorhealth.ca.