Minister Adrian Dix at the Mills Memorial Hospital May 21 to announce the business plan for the hospital has been completed, opening the door to the construction phase. (Brittany Gervais photo)

Terrace hospital’s business plan approved

Health Minister’s announcement opens door to construction phase

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix was in Terrace Tuesday to announce the approval of the new Mills Memorial Hospital business plan.

The approval is a crucial phase in replacing the old facility as it commits provincial funding to the project and opens the door to the actual construction process.

Before construction of the new Mills begins, the current Seven Sisters residential mental health care facility will be demolished to make room.

Dix said construction of a new and larger Seven Sisters facility will start before the end of the year and will be open by the fall of 2020.

The new Mills will have 78 beds, up from the current 44, and is scheduled for completion in 2024.

A $447.5 million budget has been set out and $18 million of that will be for the new Seven Sisters.

The cost will be shared between the provincial government through Northern Health and the North West Regional Hospital District, which is contributing $110.2 million.

“This is an exciting time for people in Terrace and area, as we are delivering on the goal of a modern, bigger hospital that will be part of a network of care in the North that will have more beds and up-to-date technology to improve patients’ care,” said Dix. “The new facility will support the public health-care needs of local residents, as well as people in nearby communities, for decades to come.”

Dix noted that patients will have their own rooms at the new Mills.

The new Mills Memorial Hospital will be built to the north of the current Mills and when finished, the current Mills will be demolished to make room for parking.

READ MORE: Health Minister announces plan for new hospital in Terrace

The new hospital will serve as the Northwest region’s level-three trauma and inpatient surgery centre, providing immediate assessment, resuscitation, surgery and intensive care for injured patients. Currently, the hospital is a level-five trauma centre, meaning patients are stabilized on-site before being transported elsewhere. There will also be improvements to pediatric and maternity care.

There will be an expected increase in operating costs and staff numbers when the hospital first opens. Northern Health will aim to hire locally as more staff will be needed to work in the new hospital, with a focus on services for seniors, primary care and physician recruitment.

With the concurrent construction of two new facilities on site, Dix recognized there will be some accessibility challenges to work through. The mental health facility’s construction, which will start when the tenders are released next month, will need to begin before the current hospital’s demolition.

“The decision to go forward, whatever the short-term difficulties are, this offers enormous hope. When you see the hospital being built — that is going to be momentous, and that will allow us to get through any challenges in the construction phase.”

Though there is an unused helicopter pad just behind the current Mills, plans to incorporate a new helipad is not a key item in the business plan Dix says, but there may be capacity to incorporate helicopter services in the future.

“We are excited to see that the tremendous amount of work that has been underway has now resulted in this announcement,” says Barry Pages, chair, North West Regional Hospital District. “The North West Regional Hospital District Board has been committed to partnering with the Province and Northern Health Authority to see this project become a reality, to strengthen our existing services and to allow for increased health care closer to home for all Northwest residents.”

Dix last visited Terrace in February 2018 to announce the approval of the hospital’s concept plan. The approval of the business plan today keeps the project on schedule.

 

Minister Adrian Dix was in Terrace May 21 to announce the business plan for the new Mills Memorial Hospital has been completed, opening the door to the construction phase. (Brittany Gervais photo)

Just Posted

“It’s something you’re called to do”: Cullen reflects on time as MP

For Nathan Cullen, it’s not goodbye, it’s farewell.

Local artist Sesyaz Saunders’ art on display at YVR

Saunders worked with renowned artist Robert Davidson on a large panel

Mother dog, 9 puppies dumped in sealed box at Puntzi Lake landfill: SPCA

Puppies will be available for adoption at seven weeks old

B.C. government provides $100,000 to CCCTA for emergency preparedness

The marketing organizations will use this funding to create a common set of communications tools

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

B.C. Interior First Nation family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of young mom

RCMP have released no new information since the June 8, 2019 homicide

Most Read