Work is underway on a new acute care tower as the redevelopment of Royal Columbian Hospital moves forward.
"This project will increase the hospital's capacity by approximately 50%, help ease congestion, introduce advanced medical technologies and enhance the working environment for healthcare workers," said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. "The work being done will make sure people continue to get the public health care they need for current and future generations at B.C.'s oldest hospital."
This redevelopment phase will create a new tower with more beds for intensive care, cardiac intensive care and surgical patients.
There will be a new, larger emergency department with a satellite medical imaging unit, with two radiology suites, an ultrasound suite and a CT scanner. This will allow patients to have a number of diagnostic procedures without needing to leave the emergency department.
The tower will have four more operating rooms, including one for cardiac patients and three more cardiology suites.
In addition, Phase 2 will provide more maternity beds and maternity operating rooms.
The new acute care tower will include a two-level underground parkade and a rooftop helipad.
During construction, about 3,600 direct jobs and 2,200 indirect jobs will be created, resulting in a combined total of 5,800 jobs that will be supported by the project.
"This is an exciting day for our community. When our loved ones need care, we rely on Royal Columbian Hospital and our health-care workers to keep us safe and healthy," said Jennifer Whiteside, MLA for New Westminster. "Work is officially underway on site for the next phase of hospital redevelopment, and the associated construction jobs will also be a large boost to the local economy."
Work is expected to be completed in 2025.
The estimated $1.49-billion, three-phase redevelopment is funded by the provincial government, Fraser Health and the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation.
Dr. Victoria Lee, president and CEO, Fraser Health
"Royal Columbian Hospital is an integral part of our regional hospital network with a long history of providing excellent, compassionate care. The new acute care tower will build on the strengths of the past and include state-of-the-art technology that will help to ensure lifesaving services are available now and in the future."
Tom Corsie, chair, Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation
"Each step that brings us closer to opening the new acute care tower is another welcome milestone in Royal Columbian's redevelopment. Our donors recognize the importance of providing the infrastructure that is equal to the exceptional abilities of our medical teams who care for some of the province's most seriously ill and injured."
- Phase 1 of the project centred around the new 75-bed Mental Health and Substance Use Wellness Centre, replacing the aging 30-bed Sherbrooke Centre and allowing the hospital to care for hundreds of additional patients each year. The wellness centre opened in summer 2020.
- Phase 3 of the redevelopment project will upgrade and expand areas in the existing Health Care Centre and Columbia Tower. Phase 3 is projected to start in 2023 and be completed in 2026.
- By the end of the redevelopment project, the hospital will have added about 50% more beds, an increase from 446 to 675.