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GR Baker Hospital expansion project in Quesnel is behind schedule

The expansion of the Emergency Department and the Intensive Care Unit at GR Baker Hospital in Quesnel is behind schedule.

The original plan was for it to completed by this summer.

Mark Hendricks, Communications Lead, Capital Projects with Northern Health, says they have had to adjust that timeline.

“Right now we’re looking at substantial completion (the stage where Northern Health is ready to take ownership from the contractor) by the end of the year, and then we are looking at being able to accept new patients into the new addition by the end of February, 2023.  That’s going to allow us to avoid moving patients during the holiday season, and ensure a smooth transition from the new construction into active operations.”

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As for why the project is behind schedule.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has obviously been a significant complicating factor, caused disruptions globally to supply chains and labor markets, with construction being particularly hard hit.”

He says the good news is that they haven’t had to adjust the price tag of the 27-million dollar project.

“In spite of complications we are still on budget, and we’re still looking at the new GR Baker ED/ICU addition being a much improved experience for patients visiting the hospital, with flexible treatment rooms, increased ICU capacity, improved privacy and confidentiality for patients, and a better patient flow to allow patients to be more quickly brought into the emergency department.  We’re not compromising on any of the quality features of the new addition.”

The project cost is being shared between the provincial government, through Northern Health, and the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District.

-Files by George Henderson, My Cariboo Now

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