Plans delayed for future hospital

It is anticipated the concept plan for renovating Cariboo Memorial Hospital will be completed and submitted by spring 2015.

It is anticipated the concept plan for renovating Cariboo Memorial Hospital will be completed and submitted by spring 2015, Interior Health said Monday.

The announcement comes after the Cariboo Regional Hospital District pressured IH for an update because originally the plan was due in summer 2014, CRHD chair John Massier said Tuesday.

“When we met with Interior Health at UBCM in September they took full responsibility for the delay. They told us within Interior Health they have many projects to complete,” Massier said, adding one of those is G.R. Baker Hospital in Quesnel.

“Both projects are needed and the hospital district is committed to moving both forward,” Massier said.

The concept plan will address the four clinical priorities identified in the master site plan, including the immediate and long-term space and service requirements for these priorities, IH said, adding the plan will also address future site development, such as on-site parking and access to the hospital.

For its commitment CRHD will cover 40 per cent, or about $240,000, of the concept plan cost, Massier said.

While the board is not abreast with the concept plan’s day to day details, Massier said IH met with the board in-camera to discuss some preliminary cost estimates.

“There were no big surprises with costs, but they would like the costs nailed down as tight as they can before they start making them public.”

Once the concept plan is submitted to the Ministry of Health by Interior Health, then the community will have to step up to rally, Massier urged.

“At that point it will be out of Interior Health’s hands and we will have to make our business case to government,” he said.

Massier said he appreciated the update from IH because the CRHD was tired of being the middle man trying to explain why the plan hasn’t unfolded as originally scheduled.

“People in Williams Lake have been waiting for this a long time,” he said.

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