Enhanced critical and emergency care are on the way for people in the North Cariboo, as the business plan has been approved for a new emergency department and intensive care unit (ICU) at G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital in Quesnel.
“Moving forward with the redevelopment of G R. Baker Memorial Hospital in Quesnel is part of our work to deliver better, faster health care for people in every part of the province,” said Premier John Horgan. “The new state-of-the-art facility will be bigger and offer the latest technology, meaning health-care workers will have the room and equipment they need to help patients and families.”
G. R. Baker Memorial Hospital has served the community and area for more than 60 years, but the emergency department and ICU are outdated. Hospital redevelopment planning has been ongoing since 2014, however, had not moved forward. Government received a business plan from Northern Health in November 2018 and approved it four months later, in March 2019.
“Our government recognized the need to upgrade G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital, which is expected to see an increase of approximately 11% in patient visits to the emergency department in the coming years,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “We took quick action to approve the business plan, meaning this project is officially a go, so work can get started. This builds on the opening in 2018 of the Quesnel Urgent Primary Care Centre, which offers patients in the region improved access to everyday care delivered by a team of health-care professionals.”
The emergency department and ICU will be approximately three times larger and share the same space, improving patient and staff workflow.
The emergency department will include a triage area, two examination rooms, a trauma and resuscitation room, an isolation and examination treatment room, and a psychiatric observation room. The new ICU will have five treatment rooms, up from the current four, as well as a private family waiting area.
Redeveloping G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital builds on government’s work towards enhancing health-care services for people in Quesnel and around the province. Approval of this new emergency department and ICU is the 12th health capital project government has approved, meaning people in all areas of B.C. will be getting new or upgraded health-care facilities.
Cost of the project is $27 million and will be cost-shared between the provincial government through Northern Health and Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District.
Construction is expected to start in late 2019 and be complete in 2021.
The provincial government and the Northern Health Authority have worked collaboratively with Tsilhqot’in National Government, Nazko First Nation and Lhtako Dene Nation in the planning process, recognizing the history and cultural significance of the area.
Colleen Nyce, board chair, Northern Health—
“The commitment the Province has made to us today for improvements to G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital will significantly advance patient care and the experiences patients will have while in our care. This project will see increased patient privacy and improved patient flow, making for a much better health-care journey for the people we serve in Quesnel.”
Bob Simpson, chair, Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District (CCRHD) —
“Thank you to all our partners in this project — Northern Health, Lhtako Dene, Tsilhqot’in National Government and Nazko First Nation — for your work in developing this project and preparing it to be funded and built. We are so pleased the Ministry of Health is making this investment in health and in the North Cariboo. It has been a journey to this day and the CCRHD has been saving specifically to help fund this project, so we are very excited to see it move ahead to construction.”
- A business plan confirms scope, cost estimate, procurement and timeline.
- The current floor plan of G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital was designed in 1986. It is small and out of date, with no private rooms or ceiling lifts to help health-care workers move patients.
- An ICU cares for patients with life-threatening illnesses or injuries.
- Opened in 1955, G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital is a 36-bed acute-care facility providing emergency care, lab services, diagnostic imaging, mental-health and addictions supports, and chronic disease management.