The Province is moving ahead with planning for improvements to education facilities to support medical training at University Hospital of Northern British Columbia (UHNBC), as part of Budget 2012.
The improvements include a library and lecture space to enable small- and large-group learning for students and residents in the Northern Medical Program, a partnership created by the University of British Columbia, faculty of medicine (UBC) and the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) to better meet the health-care needs of northern and rural British Columbians.
The project includes additional wireless network and videoconferencing technology that connect the hospital's students, residents and staff with instructors and fellow trainees throughout the province.
The initial cost estimate is up to $10 million, with the final number to be determined once the business plan and tendering process are finalized.
The 128 undergraduate medical students in UBC's Northern Medical Program spend most of their time in Prince George, at both UNBC and UHNBC. In addition, 30 residents in various specialties are based at the hospital year-round, along with several visiting residents from Vancouver-based specialty programs.
In March 2002, government announced an expansion and distribution of the UBC medical school. In addition to the Northern Medical Program, there are distributed medical programs on Vancouver Island (Island Medical Program), the Southern Interior region (Southern Medical Program) and the Lower Mainland (Vancouver-Fraser Medical Program).
Medical students in the distributed programs spend their first semester at UBC in Vancouver and complete their undergraduate education at academic campuses, hospitals and clinics throughout the province. All graduates receive a medical degree from UBC.
Minister of Health Michael de Jong -
"It's important for medical students and staff in the Northern Medical Program to be able to have easily accessible facilities. That's why the Province is planning to improve the education facility for the medical school at University Hospital of Northern British Columbia."
Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond -
"This is an important addition to the facilities at the University Hospital of Northern BC. The medical education facility is something that the UBC faculty of medicine and Northern Health have been asking for to better support the Northern Medical Program. This is another important step in ensuring that northern residents can count on top quality health care delivered closer to home."
Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Pat Bell -
"I'm pleased the Province is providing funding to plan for improvements to the medical education facilities at UHNBC. This school and program are incredibly important to northern British Columbia and anything than can be done to improve learning conditions is welcome."
Dean of UBC faculty of medicine Gavin Stuart -
"Having suitable teaching and library facilities at UHNBC ensures that our students and residents in Prince George receive the same high level of education as their classmates and colleagues throughout the province. The UBC faculty of medicine is pleased that the provincial government is investing in their training."
Northern Health Authority president and chief executive officer Cathy Ulrich -
"Having a new state-of-the art medical education facility is important for the North. Northern Health would like to thank the provincial government for announcing that a new facility will be planned."
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)