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Insight: REIBC blog > Health Care Capital Projects in BC’s North

Health Care Capital Projects in BC’s North

posted on 10:23 AM, July 31, 2020
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Health Minister Adrian Dix announces a new hospital in Northern BC. Credit: flickr/Province of BC

“When an organization aims to serve some of the most rural and remote communities in the province,” writes Andrea Palmer of Northern Health, “great care must be taken to hear their requests and ensure that health care facilities meet their needs, especially as these communities define them.”

Norther Health is largest in geographic area of BC’s five regional health authorities. It provides health services to 300,000 people in an area of 600,000 square kilometres, divided into three health service delivery areas: Northeast, Northern Interior, and Northwest. More than 8,000 people are employed across 18 hospitals, 14 long-term care facilities, nine diagnostic and treatment centres, two urgent and primary care centres, many public health units, and multiple offices that provide specialized services.

Northern Health’s approach to development is guided by the community. Palmer explains: “When we develop hospitals and health centres, we know, very poignantly in the North, that we’re building on traditional lands; that we’re supporting our physicians and staff, some of whom are local, some of whom come here from across the globe; and that we’re supporting, through capital investment, the delivery of our mission to ‘…provide exceptional health services for Northerners.’”

Capital projects in the area typically focus on communities and facilities that have the most to gain from additional investment. Projects undergo a collaborative master plan process followed by a concept plan and then a business plan.

“Ultimately,” writes Palmer, “it’s the people we serve who help guide our projects and ensure that public dollars are spent wisely and uphold environmental, social, and cultural considerations . . .”

Input Spring 2020
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Read about Northern Health’s current projects in “Meeting Community Health Care Needs in Northern BC” in the Spring 2020 edition of Input. Download Spring 2020

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