People on the North Shore and in coastal communities are closer to accessing public health-care services in a modern environment as work begins on a new patient care tower at Lions Gate Hospital.

This includes the Sea-to-Sky corridor, Sunshine Coast, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola on the Central Coast, as well as local Indigenous communities.

“It’s an exciting day for people in the region as shovels are going in the ground for the new tower,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “People will be able to get quality, publicly funded health care in a state-of-the-art facility, which will also help attract and retain health-care workers in the Coastal Community of Care as they prepare for any challenges that may lay ahead.”

The six-storey Paul Myers Tower will have eight operating rooms, a pre-operative and post-operative care area, including anesthesia intervention and isolation rooms. There will be 108 beds in 84 single rooms. All will have ensuite washrooms.

“We’re pleased that construction has begun on a new acute-care tower at Lions Gate Hospital, which brings us one step closer to improving access to care for residents on the North Shore, Coastal and surrounding Indigenous communities,” said Vivian Eliopoulos, president and CEO, Vancouver Coastal Health. “The new tower will enhance the experience of patients and families accessing care with an innovative patient-centred design.”

The new acute care tower will be built on the current Lions Gate Hospital site where the former North Vancouver General Hospital was located. Also known as the Activation building, it was demolished in spring 2017.

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“People on the North Shore deserve to know that there’s a modern, high-quality hospital facility available in their community if they or their loved ones ever find themselves in the position to require acute care,” said Bowinn Ma, Minister of State for Infrastructure and MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale. “Our government’s decision to take action on building a new Lions Gate Hospital tower is incredibly important to our community and I’m pleased to see construction underway.”

Vancouver Coastal Health is working in collaboration with representatives from Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations to ensure both the design of the new tower and the services provided support the provision of culturally safe care.

“We are hopeful about forging a new relationship with Vancouver Coastal Health to ensure we are on the path to transformative change together and that this relationship is, in the sense of true partnership, collaboratively planning health services for our Tsleil-Waututh people,” said Chief Jen Thomas, Tsleil-Waututh Nation.

The tower is expected to be ready for patients in 2024.

The project cost of approximately $310 million will be shared between the Province, Vancouver Coastal Health, and a $100-million fundraising campaign by Lions Gate Hospital Foundation. The new tower is named after North Shore businessperson and philanthropist Paul Myers, who donated $25 million.

Susie Chant, MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour, said: “We are all glad that this new tower is being built, as it will reflect the increased complexity of modern medical care and highlights the importance of infection control. I, too, want to thank the various funding partners for this project, which adds another component to improvements of our overall health-service provision to the community and province.”

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Lions Gate Hospital provides a full range of acute care services and many specialized services. The hospital has 254 beds, eight operating rooms, and a variety of diagnostic services and equipment.

Featured image: (Vancouver Coastal Health)

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