The Premier and the Minister of Health joined MLA Sonia Furstenau and Doug Routley and various locally elected folks to announce the next step in building our new hospital.
The Concept Plan was sent to the government in February and it was approved within months.
The business plan is the next step.
The government now says the budget, scope and procurement method for the project have yet to be finalized. The business-plan stage will take approximately 12 to 18 months.
The planning for a replacement hospital is a collaborative effort among the government of B.C., Island Health, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Cowichan Valley Regional Hospital District, the municipalities of Duncan and North Cowichan, local First Nations and local stakeholder groups.
The existing Cowichan District Hospital was opened in 1967 and has 134 beds. Since then our population has more than doubled.
I had a tour of the new hospital in Campbell River in 2017 and was blown away by the modern technology and advancements in critical care since CDH was built.
We can expect those same advancements to be integrated into our new facility.
Well done Cowichan District Hospital Foundation, OUR Cowichan, Cowichan Division of Family Practice, Cowichan Valley Hospice Society, Cowichan Tribes, City of Duncan, North Cowichan and CVRD, as well as all the individuals and groups who have worked towards getting a new hospital here.
I want to give a shout out to former North Cowichan-CVRD Director Councillor George Seymour, who suggested the board set aside funds each year towards the valleys portion of the capital cost and that lead to the purchase of the land, which was rezoned and is waiting development. Bravo all for hard work well done.
And gratitude to the staff of CDH, who have been working under challenging conditions in an overcrowded hospital for far too long.