By Roxanne Squires
FORT ST. JAMES, B.C. — A concept plan submitted in 2015 for a new replacement of Fort St. James B.C.’s Stuart Lake Hospital was recently approved by the provincial government and will begin shifting into the business plan phase.
The business plan phase finalizes details such as scope and budget of the project and will take between 12 and 18 months. Upon approval of the business plan, the project will begin procurement and then construction.
The existing hospital opened in 1972 and is lacking in terms of space, functionality and technology.
Furthermore, the project offers a response to the growing population in the region and the increased need for medical care.
“The new hospital will bring better acute, primary and community care for people living in Fort St. James, local First Nations and the surrounding area. For a growing senior population in the region and for the economy as a whole, it is an essential public service,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix.
Currently, the hospital has 12 beds and offers emergency, acute and complex care as well as residential.
The project will be built to a LEED Gold standard, as required for all new hospitals in the province.
“Stuart Lake Hospital is an important part of the community and a place of healing that many people in the region rely on,” said Colleen Nyce, chair of the Northern Health board. “It’s exciting to see that a new, modern facility will be built, which will offer high levels of public health care that will respect and reflect local Indigenous culture.”