QUEEN CHARLOTTE - The Province is moving ahead with planning for a new hospital on Haida Gwaii as part of Budget 2012.
It's anticipated the detailed planning process will start this spring. The proposed centre includes acute and residential-care beds.
Anticipated cost of the new hospital is up to $50 million and will be refined once the final business plan has been approved, the tendering process complete and a contract awarded. Funding for the project will be cost-shared by the Province and North West Regional Hospital District.
The existing Queen Charlotte Islands General Hospital, built in 1950, serves a population of approximately 4,800 people. It is an outdated facility for current health services, and a replacement facility is needed.
Since 2001, more than $7 billion has been spent on health capital projects in British Columbia. Over the next three years, British Columbia's health-care system will benefit from investments including new medical equipment and modernized health facilities as part of a $2.3-billion health sector capital plan.
In addition to today's announcement, capital projects in Northern B.C. include a new $10.99-million Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital and Health Centre that officially opened in October 2008 as well as the $106-million Northern Cancer Control Strategy, which includes a new community cancer clinic in Queen Charlotte and the Cancer Centre for the North in Prince George.
Minister of Health, Michael de Jong -
"We are committed to building patient care across the province including Haida Gwaii. A new hospital will allow local health professionals to continue to provide excellent care for Haida Gwaii patients and families."
Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Mary Polak -
"I'm honoured to be in Haida Gwaii to announce that our government is moving forward with planning for a new hospital. This facility will include residential care beds as well as space for out-patient care such as public-health services like mental-health care as part of a new hospital. This will help reduce the need to leave the island for specialized care."
Northern Health president and chief executive officer, Cathy Ulrich -
"We are pleased that the Queen Charlotte/Haida Gwaii General Hospital Replacement Project is moving forward with planning. This hospital will provide our staff, physicians and the people of the region a state of the art facility that will serve their needs now and well into the future."
North West Regional Hospital District chair, Stoney Stoltenberg -
"The North West Regional Hospital District is pleased to be a funding partner in conjunction with the Province for the new Queen Charlotte/Haida Gwaii hospital. The hospital district has been working toward a new hospital for Queen Charlotte for the last three years and to date has invested approximately $2.7 million towards the replacement. Health care is a very important and integral part of life for those of us who live in the northern areas of the province. Haida Gwaii has the added burden of being offshore and having to rely on the ferry service or aircraft flights to reach the mainland. This new health facility will greatly enhance medical services for the people of the islands and with the exception of the most exotic and nuclear types of medicine will serve the population from birth to end of life. The new hospital will also be a best practices and teaching facility. This replacement facility was long overdue and therefore has been announced at a very welcome time."
Queen Charlotte mayor, Carol Kulesha -
"This new hospital has been a long time coming, and it took all of us working together to make it happen. I'd like to thank those who helped make this facility a reality: the communities of Haida Gwaii, the regional hospital district, the regional district, Northern Health, the Ministry of Health, the health minister and the Premier - who heard our voices. On behalf of our council, a big thank you. We are very pleased and excited that our new hospital is moving forward."
President of the Haida Nation, Guujaaw -
"Investing in the care for people is money well spent. The new hospital will provide an added sense of security."
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)