Mills Memorial Hospital was built in 1960.

Mills Memorial Hospital was built in 1960.

Editorial: New hospital badly needed

Rebuilding Terrace's Mills Memorial Hospital would be the most expensive public sector project in the region

If there’s one public sector project badly needed in Terrace it’s a new Mills Memorial Hospital.

First opened in 1960, the original structure has seen more than its fair share of renovations and expansion over the years – a revamped psychiatric facility on its lower level, interior renovations for a kidney dialysis unit, a new emergency room with adjacent intensive care unit to name a few – but it’s now at the point a new stucture is surely justified.

And with two smaller projects now behind it – a new $55 million hospital and health centre in Burns Lake as of 2015 and a new $50 million hospital on Haida Gwaii as of this year – residents must know that a new Mills now ranks high as the next major item on the ‘to do’ list of the Northern Health Authority.

Other than BC Hydro’s Northwest Transmission Line, a new Mills will be the most expensive public sector project ever in this region.

One clue as to cost rests with the health authority’s last major project in 2012 – a new hospital in Fort St. John which was combined with a senior’s care facility for a $302 million price tag.

Costs will be split between the province and local taxpayers through the Northwest Regional Hospital District.

Next year’s provincial election gives local elected officials, backed up by citizens, a golden opportunity to put a bit of pressure on the powers that be to hustle this venture along.