VICTORIA — The B.C. government has announced a new hospital for the Cowichan Valley will go forward.
The 50-year-old Cowichan District Hospital faces capacity issues daily, explains a release issued by the province, as the valley’s population has more than doubled since it opened in 1967.
“People who live in the Cowichan Valley have waited a long time for the hospital they deserve, and that wait will soon be over,” said Premier John Horgan in a statement. “The new hospital we’re announcing today will serve people in the valley for decades to come.”
Construction of the new hospital is expected to begin in 2021. The new facility is slated to be nearly triple the size of the current one with plans to achieve LEED Gold certification.
In February 2018, a concept plan for the new hospital was submitted to the Ministry of Health. It was approved in June 2018, clearing the way for further work.
“We received a concept plan, and approved it within months, so work could get going as soon as possible, and people could have a new hospital,” said Minister of Health Adrian Dix.
The timeline for the build projects doors to open in 2024.
The project details, such as the scope of work, budget and procurement method, are being finalized in a business plan that is being completed collaboratively between the Government of B.C, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Cowichan Hospital District, the municipalities of Duncan and North Cowichan and local First Nations and stakeholder groups.
The business plan for the project is underway now and should be finished within the next year to year-and-a-half, state the release.
“We are pleased to see the project move forward and will continue to work with the Province and Island Health to see this major investment come to fruition,” said Jon Lefebure, chair of the Cowichan Valley Regional Hospital District.
“The hospital is a major investment in the long-term sustainability and resiliency of our region.”