Let’s go through the list.
Kamloops – $417 million at the hospital there for a nine-storey addition, called a patient care tower, containing three floors for 90 beds, an intensive care unit for newborns, 11 operating rooms, retail space, parking and more. Construction to start next year.
Penticton – $312.5 million for another patient care tower. This time six storeys containing a range of services as well as 84 patients rooms. Construction well underway with completion in 2019.
Vancouver – $102 million to add 16 surgical suites at Vancouver General Hospital. Will boost surgeries by 13 per cent when they are finished in 2021.
Next up? Well, so far, nothing in terms of a new Mills Memorial, estimated at $430 million, nor for another needed northern B.C. project, $250 million to replace a section of Dawson Creek’s hospital.
If there is good news for the north in the three above-mentioned projects it’s in the rolling nature of how large scale projects are financed. As money is spent for each, planning can start for the next projects in line.
But it’s an open question as to whether both a new Mills and construction in Dawson Creek could take place at the same time.
The two rural projects together tally up to $680 million (whether that’s the final figure is also debatable). That’s a big sum. Hard decisions await those in charge.