Royal Columbian Hospital is set to start phase two of a $1.35 billion revitalization. (Wikimedia Commons)

Royal Columbian Hospital is set to start phase two of a $1.35 billion revitalization. (Wikimedia Commons)

Phase 2 of $1.35B Royal Columbian upgrades won’t be a public-private partnership

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix says it will be a design-build

The province’s oldest hospital is about to get a refresh, as Health Minister Adrian Dix announced phase two of a $1.35-billion redevelopment.

Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster is set to get a 229 new beds in a newly-expanded emergency department and acute care tower, more MRI machines and a neonatal intensive care unit. A rooftop heliport opened earlier this year.

The province swapped the planned private-public partnership for a design-build model. In this case, one contractor, or one group, will both design and build the entirety of the new project. The province will begin accepting bids on Sept. 27.

According to the health ministry, the decision to move away from a public-private partnership came about after a review led by Fraser Health and comes with Treasury Board approval.

“Fraser Health has an experienced and knowledgeable project team that, along with qualified external advisors, will be able to ensure a successful project under the design build model,” the province said in a statement.

Phase two follows on the heels of a 36,500 square-metre Mental Health and Substance Use Wellness Centre that will include a 20-bed older-adult psychiatric unit for seniors, a 10-bed psychiatric high-acuity unit, 45 beds for acute mental-health inpatient care, clinical teaching space, new outpatient clinics, a new energy centre and a 450-stall parkade.

According to Fraser Health CEO Michael Marchbank, the new developments use “evidence-based” designs.

“We are increasing the number of patients we can treat, incorporating evidence-based design to create a space specifically for people with mental-health or substance-use issues, and enhancing the patient’s experience and privacy,” Marchbank said.

“This is British Columbia’s oldest hospital, and it’s also one of the busiest, accepting patients from across the province. This project will allow our clinicians to enhance care to our province’s most seriously ill in a world-class facility.”


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