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Construction starts on Cariboo Memorial Hospital project

Health Minister Adrian Dix
Health Minister Adrian Dix

WILLIAMS LAKE – Work is underway for an updated and expanded Cariboo Memorial Hospital, which will improve access to care for people in Williams Lake and surrounding Cariboo-Chilcotin area, including the First Nations of the Secwépemc, Tŝ ilhqot’in and Dãkelh Dené.

“The redevelopment of the Cariboo Memorial Hospital represents a significant investment in the Cariboo-Chilcotin communities’ health and well-being, now and into the future,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, in a news release. “That is why it is so exciting to be with the community today to celebrate the start of construction that will increase the hospital’s capacity and provide a modern working environment.”

The project includes a three-storey addition, as well as renovations to the existing facility. The redevelopment will add 25 new beds for a total of 53. This includes a new medical/surgical inpatient unit with 36 beds (an increase of 16), a new mental-health and substance-use inpatient unit with eight single-occupancy rooms, a patient-seclusion room and an expanded ambulatory-care and oncology unit with 16 renovated treatment spaces.

There will be a new emergency department with 23 treatment spaces (an increase of 12), two trauma-treatment bays, a seclusion room, an ambulance carport and a separate public entrance.

As well, the new addition will have an expanded maternity and women’s health unit with four single-occupancy rooms for maternity care, two nursery rooms and two women’s health beds in private rooms. The maternity area will allow parents to stay in the same room with their babies until they are ready to go home.

The pharmacy will be expanded, providing additional space for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. An interfaith sacred space will allow for traditional cultural and healing practices. There will be 71 new parking stalls.

Construction will happen in two phases. The first phase, which will include the three-storey addition, is expected to finish in 2026. Phase 2 will start after that, will include further renovations and is scheduled to be complete in 2029.

“Beginning construction on the redevelopment of Cariboo Memorial Hospital is a significant milestone. I know the people of Williams Lake and surrounding communities are looking forward to the expansion and the improvements to health services the upgraded hospital will bring,” said Susan Brown, president and CEO, Interior Health. “I am grateful for the contributions from our First Nations partners in the design of the new building. It is such a well-planned space that will benefit not only patients and their families, but also Interior Health staff and physicians.”

The project budget is $366.5 million and will be shared between the province, Interior Health and the Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional Hospital District.

“It’s exciting to see construction start on the Cariboo Memorial Hospital upgrade, which will provide our region, health workers and residents with a modern new facility,” said Al Richmond, chair, Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District. “I express my thanks to Minister Dix and Interior Health for their continued support and effort to make this project happen.”

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