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Full steam ahead for Cariboo Memorial Hospital redevelopment

Full steam ahead for Cariboo Memorial Hospital redevelopment

July 24, 2019 at 11:25 am  BC, News, Politics

The business plan for a redeveloped and state-of-the-art Cariboo Memorial hospital has been completed and officially approved on time and on schedule.

It is now full speed ahead for key, high-priority health capital projects in the Interior.

“Approving this business plan on time and on schedule for Cariboo Memorial Hospital demonstrates Premier Horgan’s commitment to Williams Lake and the Cariboo Chilcotin,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “This project will improve health care in the region, increase necessary services and help retain health-care professionals. In the construction period, it will bring some 1,400 direct and indirect jobs to the region.”

Work will include a three-storey (plus basement), approximately 9,500 square metre (102,000 square foot) new addition to the hospital, as well as renovations to parts of the current facility.

Cost of the project is $217.75 million and will be shared between the provincial government, Interior Health, and Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District.

“The project has expanded since we approved the concept plan in February 2018 with an increase of up to 53 beds. Cariboo Memorial currently has 28,” said Dix.

People in the area have been awaiting redevelopment of the hospital since 2011, when the Cariboo Memorial Hospital master site plan was completed. In the spring of 2015, the original concept plan was submitted to the Ministry of Health. More than two years later, in October 2017, a revised concept plan was submitted, and approved in February 2018. The business plan was approved on schedule.

Features include a larger emergency department, more room for ambulatory care, a mental health and substance use inpatient unit, a maternal services unit – which lets new parents stay in the same room with their babies until they are ready to go home, University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine space, 71 new parking spots and the addition of 15 new beds with space reserved to open more in the future.

The redevelopment includes the creation of an inter-faith sacred space on the main floor of the new building, which will allow for traditional, sacred cultural and healing practices. During the business planning stage, several people and groups participated in planning sessions, including First Nations and Aboriginal groups. As a result, the hospital redevelopment will reflect the unique identity and needs of the local communities.

Construction will be completed in two phases. Phase one will begin in 2021 with work on the new addition and is expected to finish in 2023. Then phase two will begin on renovations to the current hospital, which is scheduled to be complete in 2025.


Chief (Kukpi7) Willie Sellars, Williams Lake Indian Band –

“An investment of this magnitude is going to have significant benefits to this entire region. It strengthens the government’s commitment to this area, which will strengthen the services to the people of this area. We’re excited to be making this announcement alongside the province and the City of Williams Lake. Let’s get started.”

Doug Cochrane, board chair, Interior Health –

“The redeveloped Cariboo Memorial Hospital will be designed and built with a focus of providing health care that addresses the distinct challenges of the people of this region. I’m confident the result will be a hospital that is ‘made in the Cariboo’ – a place that is welcoming, comfortable, and culturally sensitive, and that allows our health care professionals to work in an environment that matches their skills, dedication and compassion.”

Bob Simpson, board chair, Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District –

“What great news for the Cariboo region! This project is a much-needed investment in our health services, and a major contribution to the resilience and economic stability of our region. Thank you to the Ministry of Health and to all our partners in this project – including Interior Health, City of Williams Lake, Williams Lake Indian Band and our local MLAs – for your work in moving this project forward. The Hospital District has been saving for over a decade to help fund this project, so we are very excited see it move to the construction phase.”

Quick Facts:

  • Business planning finalizes details such as scope, budget and procurement model.
  • The next step is the procurement process, followed by construction.
  • The project will be design-build, in which a contractor designs and builds the facility to meet standards and performance requirements specified by the health authority.
  • The health authority will retain ownership throughout construction and will be responsible for maintaining the facility over its lifespan.
  • Ambulatory care includes minor surgical procedures for outpatients. No inpatient stays are required.
  • Work will be completed at an energy-efficiency level above the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold standard.
  • Opened in 1963, the 28-bed Cariboo Memorial Hospital is considered outdated in terms of space and functionality.
  • The population served by the Cariboo Memorial Hospital is expected to increase by 5.3% by 2033.
  • 23% of the population served by the hospital is Indigenous.

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