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UHNBC gets $12.5 million in upgrades, proceed with concept planning for further improvements

The University Hospital of Northern BC is getting a multi-million dollar upgrade.

The government is investing than $12.5 million into multiple improvements.

“First of all, we are looking at some short term initiatives,” says MLA Shirley Bond. “We’re adding inpatient bed capacity, which will cost about $8 million and then we’re going to upgrade the electrical system. As you can imagine we want to be sure that the current infrastructure is working as effectively as possible.”

The capacity increase will add 27 beds after the second floor ultrasound and diabetes clinic is converted to a new medical inpatient clinic.The 4th floor of the hospital will then be reconfigured for the relocation of the ultrasound unit.

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Construction on the expansion is expected to be complete in the fall of 2018 and create 48 jobs – 29 direct and 19 indirect. The electrical improvements should be done by next spring. They are estimated to create a total of 27 jobs – 16 direct and 11 indirect.

But wait – there’s more!

“From my perspective, the most important announcement today was regarding approval to continue the concept planning,” Bond says. “We are going to be looking at the development of a significant addition, major capital projects here at the hospital. It’s fantastic news. We’re going to be adding an adolescent psychiatric unit, substance use services, psychiatric units. We’re going to be looking at cardiac care – how that might be included – so a very significant day for the University Hospital.”

Concept planning will also include improvement plans for surgical services, including operating rooms, a post-anaesthetic recovery unit, pre-surgical screening, operating room booking, day surgery, medical device reprocessing and surgical inpatient accommodation. The planning will begin this year. Once it is complete and approved, a business plan will be developed and funding sources identified. Funding for the projects will be cost-shared by the Province, Northern Health and the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George.

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