The Government of B.C. has greenlit a new hospital for the Cowichan Valley.

“People who live in the Cowichan Valley have waited a long time for the hospital they deserve, and that wait will soon be over,” said Premier John Horgan. “The new hospital we’re announcing today will serve people in the valley for decades to come, meaning better health care in their own backyard.”

The existing Cowichan District Hospital was opened in 1967, and has 134 beds. Since the hospital’s opening, the valley’s population has more than doubled, and is expected to grow by another 20 per cent over the next few decades.

“Cowichan District Hospital is 50 years old. The capacity issues it faces on a daily basis are frustrating for patients and the hospital’s dedicated health-care workers. It was critical that we take action,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “We received a concept plan, and approved it within months, so work could get going as soon as possible, and people could have a new hospital.”

In February 2018, a concept plan for the new hospital was submitted to the Ministry of Health. It was approved in June 2018, clearing the way for further work.

Construction of the new hospital is expected to begin in 2021, and is expected to be nearly triple the size of the current one.

The details, such as scope, budget, and procurement method, will be finalized in the business plan stage. This stage will take approximately 12 to 18 months. Upon approval of the business plan, the project will proceed to procurement, and then to construction.

The planning for a replacement hospital has been a collaborative effort between 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.

All new hospitals in B.C. are planned to a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold standard.

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