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Full steam ahead for new Dawson Creek and District hospital

A brand new, state-of-the-art Dawson Creek and District hospital will be built at 11401-8th St., on the northwest corner of the nearby Northern Lights College campus.

“I am proud to announce that the government has approved the business plan, and it is now full speed ahead for one of the highest-priority health capital projects in the North,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.

“It’s a big day for the people of Dawson Creek – one that is a long, long, long time coming,” Dix said. “During the business planning stage, it became clear that Dawson Creek needed more than a redevelopment and expansion. We are delivering a new, modern hospital on a standalone site, a project that will increase necessary services, help retain health-care professionals and bring jobs to the region. The South Peace region, its patients and health-care workers deserve nothing less.”

The new hospital will be approximately 19,400 square metres (209,000 square feet) and will have 70 beds, an increase of 24, all of which will be in single rooms with ensuite washrooms.

A new emergency department will be double the size of the existing one, with treatment spaces increasing from 10 to 13. The existing emergency department has approximately 18,000 visits a year. The new emergency department will be able to accommodate approximately 25,000 visits a year.

Space for a laboratory and diagnostic imaging will also be part of the new facility.

New moms and families will be supported through a maternity unit including labour, delivery recovery and post-partum rooms and a nursery.

Mental health service delivery will be brought up to modern standards with a new inpatient suite and an increase of beds from 15 to 18.

There will also be a non-denominational spiritual room for use by people of all faiths and cultures.

The new hospital will continue to provide a range of surgical services as well as chemotherapy, ambulatory care, radiology, clinical support and pharmacy services. 

The project cost is approximately $377.86 million and will be shared by the provincial government, through Northern Health, and the Peace River Regional Hospital District.

Approximately 1,500 direct jobs and 900 indirect jobs will be created during construction.

Future use of the current site will be determined after the new hospital is finished and in operation.

With government approval of the business plan, the project will now proceed to procurement. Construction is expected to begin late 2021 and the new hospital is anticipated to be open to patients in fall 2025.

Northern Health has identified the hospital for renewal since 2008. The Dawson Creek and District Hospital Master Program and Master Plan was completed in December 2013. Northern Health submitted a concept plan for a redeveloped hospital in September 2015, but it did not move forward. Northern Health provided an updated plan in March 2018, which was approved by government in May 2018.

Quotes:

Colleen Nyce, board chair, Northern Health –

“The replacement of Dawson Creek and District Hospital is a capital priority for Northern Health. Thanks to the collaboration with the Province of B.C., the Peace River Regional Hospital District and the City of Dawson Creek, a new hospital will soon take shape. This new facility will increase space and improve workflow for staff and physicians – and better serve the health-care needs of people in the South Peace.”

Brad Sperling, chair, Peace River Regional Hospital District –

“As chair of the Peace River Regional Hospital District Board, I would like to thank the Province of B.C. for approving this much-needed facility for the people of northeast B.C. We appreciate the vision of Northern Health to see the need of providing an innovative, new hospital with extended services and capacity rather than rebuilding on the previous facility. I would lastly like to thank the Regional District board of directors for its unwavering commitment to improving the health care for the people in the Peace region.”

Quick Facts:

  • Business planning finalizes details, such as scope, budget and timelines.
  • Opened in 1960, Dawson Creek and District Hospital has 46 beds and serves a region with a population of approximately 26,000. Services include emergency, surgical, maternity, mental health and substance use and cancer care. There are also a laboratory and diagnostics.

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