Last week’s budget contained a goodie for Terrace … a new hospital.
“The province has heard the calls from residents about the need for a new hospital in this community,” said de Jong, who spoke at the Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce today. “A new facility will support this region, and the families that live and work in the region.”
Northern Health provided an updated concept plan to the Ministry of Health earlier this month. Concept planning is an important part of the process for planning a new hospital and provides Northern Health and the Ministry of Health with an opportunity to ensure the new facility will meet the needs of the community and future demands.
Once the concept plan is approved by government, the next step in the planning process will be to prepare a business plan. The ministry expects work on the business plan beginning in the fall of 2017. This process takes approximately 12 to 18 months and would be followed by procurement and then construction.
This comes three weeks after the province announced $417 million for new “patient care towers” at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, which angered some local physicians who complained Prince George was being ignored. de Jong did not says what the cost might be, however the Terrace Standard is reporting previous estimates have put the hospital replacement at about $430 million.
“We have been working to replace Mills Memorial Hospital for many years,” said Dr. Charles Jago, Northern Health board chair. “It’s been one of the top priorities for the board and we are pleased that the government has recognized the need to bring the planning process to conclusion.”
“The North West Regional Hospital District is encouraged and delighted to see the next steps being committed to by the Province in the process of working towards the replacement of Mills Memorial in Terrace,” said Harry Nyce, North West Regional Hospital District chair. “The replacement of Mills Memorial has been the number-one priority of the North West Regional Hospital District Board for many years. This new hospital will benefit all northern residents by increasing access to timely quality health care, the key variable to our regional growth.”
Mills Memorial Hospital was opened in 1961 and has 44 acute care beds along with services that include cancer and kidney care, maternity care and a range of medical imaging.