CHISASIBI, QUE. — The Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay has announced the launch of construction of a new $300-million regional health centre in Chisasibi, northern Quebec.
The 20,000-square-metre facility will combine a 52-bed hospital for the community of Eeyou Istchee and a Community Miyupimaatisiiun Centre for Chisasibi. The Regional Health Centre is scheduled for completion by 2025.
Funding for the project was allocated by the Quebec government and is part of a new five-year funding agreement, stated an Oct. 7 release. The board of health will manage the project and will own and operate the new centre.
The facility will replace an outdated hospital open since 1980 and community health services that are now housed in trailers. The current hospital has no surgical capacity and limited space to serve a growing community of 5,000 people in Chisasibi as well as other Cree communities, said the release.
The new Eeyou-Eenou Regional Health Centre will be equipped with medical, telemedecine and diagnostic technologies. The current nearest fully equipped hospital is almost 1000 kilometres away, in Val-d’Or.
“The construction of a new Regional Health Centre that will serve all of our people, not only the people of Chisasibi, is a major milestone in providing better access to services on the territory,” said Cree Board of Health chairperson Bella Moses Petawabano in the statement.
“This new facility will enable us to provide many services currently not offered in Eeyou Istchee, and to enhance many others. All of these are crucial to the well-being of our people, to our commitment to bring Miyupimaatisiiun to the people of Eeyou Istchee.”
The new facility “gives concrete expression to the vision in Section 14 of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement of bringing health and social services home to the Crees of Eeyou Istchee,” said Eeyou Istchee Grand Chief Dr. Abel Bosum.