Premier Horgan making an announcement about the province’s approval of the business plan for a new hospital in Fort St. James. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)

Premier Horgan announces business plan approval for new hospital in Fort St. James

The new hospital in the district is aimed to be open to patients by 2024

New hospital in Fort St. James is now a reality.

Premier Horgan announced that the community will have a new state-of-the-art Stuart Lake Hospital, following the province’s approval of the project business plan.

Horgan announced this news himself in the district’s Community Centre on Jan. 18, and got a standing ovation from the crowd.

“For more than 12 years, people in Fort St. James were promised a new hospital,” Horgan said, adding this project will give the community an economic boost, with hundreds of new construction jobs and good health care for people in the region.

The new hospital will be three times larger than the current facility, with twenty-seven beds, including 18-long term care beds. There will be an emergency department with two treatment rooms, a trauma bay and an ambulance bay.

A laboratory and diagnostic imaging will also be a part of facility.

The hospital will also include a primary care centre that will consolidate services currently being offered in Fort St. James to one location, reducing the distance patients and staff have to go for diagnostic imaging and lab services.

Horgan said approximately 450 direct jobs and 350 indirect jobs that will be created during construction.

“This community and region couldn’t ask for anymore. We are so pleased. We now know the new hospital is reality,” said Bev Playfair, mayor of Fort St. James.

Meanwhile, Chief of Staff of Stuart Lake Hospital, Peter Van Zyl said with this announcement, “hope has become reality.”

The estimated cost of the project is $116 million, which will be shared between the province through Northern Health, and the Stuart-Nechako Regional Hospital District, which will contribute $20 million.

With government approval of the business plan, the project will proceed to procurement. The hospital is targeted to be open for patients by 2024.

The new facility will be built on the same site as the existing one. Once complete, the existing hospital will be demolished to make way for parking.

The current care facility was opened in 1972 and is outdated in terms of space, functionality and technology, stated a Jan. 18 release by the ministry of health and northern health.

Discussions regarding the replacement of the hospital have been ongoing since 2008. In Sept. 2015, Northern Health submitted a concept plan to the ministry of health.

Then in 2018, Northern Health submitted a revised concept plan to the government in 2018, which was approved in Oct. 2018. The business plan finalizes details such as scope and budget.

“This investment announcement within our region is tremendous news for the community of Fort St. James and the surrounding rural and First Nation populations,” said Jerry Petersen, chair, Stuart-Nechako Regional Hospital District.

Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Water recovery team stands down search for missing man in Stellako River

Jason Bouchard was in a boat with a friend that overturned in the river May 16

COVID-19: Increased federal funding for off-reserve Indigenous services welcomed news in north

Funding to benefit organizations such as friendship centres during pandemic

COVID-19: PG Community Foundation to disperse community support funds

$197,630 in funding announced by the Prince George Community Foundation

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

DFO allowing at-sea observers again if safe work procedures in place

May 15 fishery notice lays out conditions for allowing at-sea observers onboard amid COVID-19

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

Most Read