Decisive action is finally being taken as Health Minister Adrian Dix announced that a new hospital for Terrace has moved to the business planning stage after approval of the concept plan.
“We know people have been waiting a long time for a new hospital in Terrace, so our government made the project a priority and moved quickly on approval,” Dix said. “We are taking actual steps on a state-of-the art facility that will serve families in the region for decades to come.”
The original request for a new hospital was made in 2010. In 2012, master planning got underway with concept planning starting in 2013. A concept plan was first received by government in April 2014. An updated concept plan was submitted to the provincial government in October 2017 and has been approved, a critical step in the process.
The business plan phase will now get underway and will finalize details, such as scope of the new facility and budget. This stage takes approximately 12 to 18 months. Upon approval of the business plan, the project will proceed to procurement and then construction. The business plan will focus on costing the project, and will address how services will be expanded within a replacement facility that is expected to be approximately twice the size of the existing hospital.
Concept planning is an important part of the process for planning a new hospital. It’s an opportunity to make sure that the new facility meets community needs and future demands. The plan outlines a high-level vision, providing a framework for projected health services and infrastructure.
“This is a great day for our district. Health care close to home is vital for all of us who live in the north. The North West Regional Hospital District understands the importance of this project in strengthening our existing health-care facilities,” said Harry Nyce, North West Regional Hospital District chair. “We have partnered with the Province on this project to ensure the future of quality health care for the North West. We look forward to seeing the business plan proceed.”
“We are thankful to Minister Dix and the provincial government for recognizing the need to invest in the health care of the people of the Northwest by approving this plan to move forward,” said Northern Health board chair Colleen Nyce. “This has been a collaborative project between the Province of B.C., the North West Regional Hospital District, Northern Health and the people residing in the many communities served by Mills Memorial Hospital.”
Opened in 1961, Mills Memorial Hospital’s current facility is not able to meet patient needs into the future. Mills Memorial has 42 funded beds and offers a variety of services, including emergency care, maternity care, medical imaging, surgical and intensive care, and a psychiatric unit.
The new hospital will be funded in partnership with the North West Regional Hospital District. This will be confirmed in the business plan.
All new hospitals in B.C. are planned to a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold standard.