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

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP end patrols on Morice West Service Road

Withdrawal opens door for talks today between hereditary chiefs, province and federal gov

CGL must revise impact assessment on Unist’ot’en Healing Center

Environmental Assessment Office not satisfied with report’s shortcomings

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs call for end of police patrols

Temporary closure of field office not enough to meet demands

Confusion surrounds terms of RCMP withdrawal from pipeline construction area

B.C. Deputy Commissioner clarifies terms of agreement following minister’s statements

Stop checks, searches of Wet’suwet’en pipeline opposers unlawful: Watchdog

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs file complaint

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Should you shave your beard to stop COVID-19? The U.S. CDC has a guide

Facial hair could be a big no-no if COVID-19 reaches pandemic status

First arrests made at BC Legislature after Wet’suwet’en supporters spray chalk on property

Legislature security arrested two people, allegedly for mischief

Canada’s 13th coronavirus case confirmed as husband of 12th patient

More than 81,000 cases of COVID-19 have occurred since the virus emerged in China

Shuswap boy wins hockey stick from NHL hero with rock, paper, scissors

Chase’s Payton Koch’s exchange with Minnesota Wild’s Kevin Fiala caught on camera

Surrey will replace its RCMP force with municipal police, province confirms

City of Surrey has been authorized to set up its own city police force

UPDATE: Son, 5, dies in hospital after crash that killed dad, older son on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to meet today with federal and B.C. governments

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

Chinatowns across Canada report drop in business due to new coronavirus fears

Around the world, about 81,000 people have become ill with the virus

Most Read