Quinn Bender photo Chair of the Northwest Regional Hospital District, Harry Nyce, calls the concept plan for a new Mills Memorial Hospital one that meets the needs of northern communities.

B.C. Health Minister announces plan for new hospital in Terrace

Approved concept calls for more beds, a level three trauma centre, better surgical capacity

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix announced last Friday the province has approved the concept plan for a new Mills Memorial Hospital.

“What that means,” he said, “is we are a go. There is going to be a new Mills Memorial Hospital and we are going to proceed with all the speed we can to make that happen. This is a commitment from the Premier on down.”

Dix made the announcement in the crowded main lobby of Mills Memorial, surrounded by about 50 officials, hospital staff and Terrace residents who greeted the news with cheers and applause.

“A great community, a great region needs a great hospital. We’re going to have one in Terrace,” he said, emphasizing the process will involve full participation of the First Nations community to ensure “it’s an open and welcoming place for everyone.”

“This is a great day, and I think it represents the work of everyone here, and so many people and so many communities outside this room, who worked to make this day happen.”

He finished with a nod to medical staff, saying they will receive the state-of-the-art hospital they deserve in the 21st century.

Now that the province has approved the concept plan the project will move onto the business-planning stage, which will detail the scope and budget of the project. The concept plan included a Level III trauma centre, meaning the hospital will have resources for emergency resuscitation, surgery, and intensive care for trauma patients.

Addressing the room, Chair of the Northwest Regional Hospital District, Harry Nyce, said it was an “extremely, extremely wonderful day for the Northwest district,” to see a concept plan that honours the needs of people from Burns Lake to Haida Gwaii and north to Dease Lake who rely on Mills Memorial.

“It’s important it reflect who we are as a people,” he said. “And recognizes the need for investment into our health. I’m also pleased that the plan extends to the needs of mental health in the region.”

The planning stage is expected to take 12 to 18 months before procurement and construction.

“We know people have been waiting a long time for a new hospital in Terrace, so our government made the project a priority and moved quickly on approval,” said Dix.

“We are taking actual steps on a state-of-the art facility that will serve families in the region for decades to come.”

The new hospital will be funded in partnership with North West Regional Hospital District, with details still being worked out.

“The final details get worked out in the business case because we want to be very precise and meet budget,” Dix said to reporters following the announcement. “But the concept plan is talking about something in the neighbourhood of $370 million.”

Mills Memorial has long been recognized as a regional hospital, to which Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP said the new facility will be a “lynch pin” for the recruitment and retention of medical professionals, and provide momentum for other developments in the Northwest as a whole.

“It’s been this very, very slow process where previous governments have moved in too slow a way. It’s always been contingent on other things—if this gets built, if this pipeline goes through—but the vote of confidence today from Horgan’s government is that we need to invest in this region. This region is going to be strong for a long time to come.

“When you have a hospital that’s beyond it’s life, it’s just such a bad sign. Is it a dying community? Is it a community just not worth investing in or moving to? But when you get an announcement like this…it’s a vote of confidence for the entire region, saying we’re strong and we’re going to be here for a long time.”

The new hospital is already playing into discussions with the City of Terrace and the Northwest Resource Benefits Alliance. As a benchmark for future development and growth in the region, Terrace mayor Carol LeClerc said the RBA will be using that to their advantage in future strategies, particularly in light of the provincial government’s promise of affordable living, strong economic development and improved service delivery.

“We want to be part of that,” she said. “Of course with the new hospital we are going to make sure we provide services for everybody in the Northwest. And having a state-of-the-art hospital I think puts a little feather in the cap of the people who live here.”

with files from Quinn Bender

 

Quinn Bender photo B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix at the Terrace hospital Feb. 9 to announce plans for a new Mills Memorial Hospital.

Just Posted

B.C. declares state of emergency as wildfires rage

More than 3,300 firefighters are battling more than 500 fires

Gitxsan chiefs ‘close’ territory to recreational fishery

DFO will not enforce the conservation measure that rejects data from Tyee Test Fishery

PHOTOS: Scenes from fifth annual Street Fair Medley

Downtown activities lasted from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on August 11

Golfer scores rare albatross on first hole

Skeena Valley golf course manager said it’s the first he’s heard of the shot made in Terrace

Australian firefighters join Telegraph Creek efforts

Regional district extends State of Emergency another week to Aug. 17

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP brings in members; patrols evacuation zones near Quesnel

Members from the Lower Mainland are aiding local RCMP with 24/7 patrols in evacuation zones

VIDEO: Post-surgery monologue comedy gold

If you’ve ever had surgery with anaesthetic you know the coming out of it process can be a treat.

LETTERS: Doctors speak out on surgical wait times for B.C. patients

‘Governments know they will lose private clinic lawsuit’

Thieves steal supplies, tools and juice boxes from B.C. summer camp

‘Take a moment to think about who you stole from,’ says Burns Bog Society’s Mark Robertson

Are you prepared? Pet Safe Coalition gives tips on having and executing animal evacuation plans

Pet Safe founder Willow Eyford began evacuating her animals when alert was issued for her property

Women-owned businesses generate $68,000 less revenue than men’s: survey

When Dionne Laslo-Baker sought a bank loan to expand her burgeoning organic popsicle and freezies business in 2014, she was “shocked” by the feedback she received from one of the bankers.

Hedley frontman’s alleged sex offences case returns to court

Jacob Hoggard faces three sexual assault-related charges will return to a Toronto courtroom this morning.

Most Read