Better care is on the way for people in Fort St. James and the surrounding region.
The Stuart Lake Hospital replacement project has received the official green light, with government approval of the concept plan.
“It’s a go! This new hospital has been needed for a long time, and is why Premier John Horgan and I made it a key priority in our efforts to improve health care throughout northern B.C.,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The new hospital will bring better acute, primary and community care for people living in Fort St. James, local First Nations and the surrounding area. For a growing senior population in the region and for the economy as a whole, it is an essential public service.
“I want to acknowledge the support and commitment of the Stuart-Nechako Hospital District, the community of Fort St. James, and the Nak’azdli Whut’en ( Fort St. James), Yekooche First Nation, Tl’azt’en Nation (Tache, Binche, Middle River) and Takla Lake First Nation. Economic optimism is returning to the region after an incredibly difficult summer as a result of wildfires. I know we will continue to work together as we develop the business plan and build the hospital.”
Discussions regarding the replacement of the hospital have been ongoing since 2008. In September 2015, Northern Health submitted a concept plan to the Ministry of Health. Northern Health submitted a revised concept plan to government in summer 2018, which was approved in October 2018. The project now moves to business plan phase.
The hospital opened in 1972 and is outdated in terms of space, functionality and technology. Currently, the hospital has 12 beds and offers emergency, acute and complex care care, as well as residential care, lab and X-ray services, and mental health and addictions counselling.
Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation –
“Stuart Lake Hospital is an important part of the community and a place of healing that many people in the region rely on. It’s exciting to see that a new, modern facility will be built, which will offer high levels of public health care that will respect and reflect local Indigenous culture.”
Colleen Nyce, chair, Northern Health board –
“This hospital replacement is very welcome news for the community and health-care professionals. This project will improve services for both those giving and receiving care in the Fort St. James region.”
Jerry Petersen, chair, Stuart-Nechako Regional Hospital District –
“It is exciting to see a project of this magnitude come to fruition. The new Fort St. James Hospital is the result of years of hard work by everyone involved.”
- Concept planning is an important part of the process for planning a hospital. It’s an opportunity to make sure that the building meets community needs and future demands. The plan outlines a high-level vision, providing a framework for projected health services and infrastructure.
- The next stage in planning is the development of a business plan. The business plan phase finalizes details such as scope 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.
- All new hospitals in B.C. are planned to a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold standard.