A blessing ceremony was performed today by K'ómoks First Nation at the site of the new Comox Valley Hospital.
"With site preparation well underway, today's ceremony represents an important milestone in building patient care in the Comox Valley," said Comox Valley MLA Don McRae on behalf of Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid. "The new hospital will give patients and their families access to the best care possible in modern facilities."
Five trees from the site of the Comox Valley Hospital are being gifted to the K'ómoks First Nation to be used in a traditional building project.
The new Comox Valley Hospital is part of the North Island Hospitals Project, which will see two new hospitals built on Northern Vancouver Island - one in Campbell River and one in the Comox Valley - at a cost of up to $600 million.
"On behalf of the Vancouver Island Health Authority, our future patients and all our partners, I would like to thank the K'ómoks people for blessing this site," said Don Hubbard, VIHA board chair. "Aboriginal partnerships are very important to VIHA. It is through an understanding of cultural diversity that this new facility will provide all patients with a positive and culturally appropriate healing environment."
The new Comox Valley Hospital is located on a site next to North Island College and will replace the aging St. Joseph's Hospital. Its estimated cost is $334 million with 153 beds planned.
The new $266 million, 95-bed hospital at the existing Campbell River Hospital site will replace Campbell River's aging 70-bed acute-care facility.
Construction of both new hospitals is scheduled to get underway in 2014, with the hospitals ready for occupancy by late 2017. Funding for the project is being provided by the Province (60 per cent) and the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District (40 per cent).
"We're excited to take this official step forward," said Claire Moglove, chair of the Comox-Strathcona Regional Hospital District board. "The beginning of site preparations represents the first concrete action in this long-awaited hospitals project. To bring this project to this point, involved years of dedicated work for many people."
Since 2001-02, $8 billion has been spent on health sector capital projects in British Columbia. Over the next three years, British Columbia will benefit from investments such as new health-care facilities as part of a $2.3-billion health sector capital plan.
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)
North Island Hospitals Project
Vancouver Island Health Authority