People in Williams Lake and the Cariboo-Chilcotin are a step closer to having enhanced health care close to home as Interior Health has signed a contract for the construction of the Cariboo Memorial Hospital (CMH) redevelopment project with the preferred proponent, Graham Design Builders LP.
“Signing this contract is a major milestone in the Cariboo Memorial Hospital redevelopment project,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Soon people will see shovels in the ground as the modernized and expanded hospital begins to take shape. With a new emergency department, mental-health unit and cancer department, the redeveloped CMH will be a gamechanger for decades to come.”
The CMH redevelopment project includes an addition to the existing hospital as well as renovations to the existing facility. The addition will be three storeys, plus a basement, and approximately 9,300 square metres (100,100 square feet). The redevelopment will add 25 in-patient beds for a total of 53.
People will have increased access to health-care services as the expanded hospital will include a new emergency department, medical/surgical in-patient unit and mental-health and substance-use in-patient unit as well as an expanded ambulatory care and oncology unit, maternity and women’s health unit and pharmacy. The hospital will also include administrative, educational and training spaces for the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine.
Construction will happen in two phases. Phase 1, which includes the addition, will begin in spring 2023 and is expected to finish in fall 2026. Phase 2, which includes renovations to the existing hospital, will begin in fall 2026 and is scheduled to be complete in early 2029.
The budget for the project is more than $366 million and will be shared by the Province and the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District.
Susan Brown, president and CEO, Interior Health –
“There are many dedicated people at Interior Health who have been working in collaboration with Aboriginal, community and Regional Hospital District partners to bring this project to this important next step to enhance health services in the region. The much-anticipated Cariboo Memorial Hospital expansion will improve access to many types of health-care services for people in Williams Lake and throughout the Cariboo-Chilcotin.”
Al Richmond, chair, Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District –
“We are excited to see this significant milestone achieved for the Cariboo Memorial Hospital redevelopment project. I express our gratitude to Minister Dix for delivering on his commitment to proceed with this greatly needed upgrade to a critical health-care facility. Along with the numerous other improvements to this critical facility, we are particularly pleased to see the increased number of care beds, a dedicated mental-health and substance-use unit, and space for UBC’s Faculty of Medicine. We are also excited to see the benefits that will come from the interfaith sacred space to support the traditional cultural and healing practices of Indigenous persons living in the Cariboo-Chilcotin.”
A backgrounder follows.