2006 – Identifying the Need
Island Health (known as VIHA at the time) identified a need for enhanced specialty services for North Island residents during an extensive public consultation process with residents, staff, physicians, community partners, aboriginal leaders and other stakeholders as part of its strategic planning.
The hospitals currently serving the region (Campbell River and District General Hospital and St. Joseph’s General Hospital) are aging and their physical infrastructure required significant capital investments. In 2006, the VIHA Board considered options based on public input and feedback, quality and safety issues, service sustainability, financial sustainability and access. The Board voted to support the creation of a new North Island regional hospital located within the Comox Valley.
2006 to 2008 – Listening to the Community
Following the decision, the community raised significant concerns:
- the lack of basic infrastructure services at the proposed location,
- reduced local hospital services in Campbell River and the distance,
- time and environmental impact of travel to the proposed site.
These concerns continued to grow in the months following the decision and in response the Comox-Strathcona Regional Hospital District (CSRHD) withdrew its support. Island Health went back to the drawing board and initiated further consultation with physicians, staff, municipal leaders and residents.
2009 – Agreement
After listening to residents, physicians and other stakeholders and considering options carefully, the Board agreed to endorse a proposal to build two new hospitals, one in Campbell River, the other in the Comox Valley. The CSRHD agreed to fund up to forty percent of the project.
2010 to 2011 – Business Case
The business case was started in 2010 and was completed in December 2011. Consultations with physicians and staff were a key part of the business case development and will continue throughout the final design and construction stages of the North Island Hospitals Project.
2012 – Project Initiated
On April 26, 2012 Premier Christy Clark gave the green light for the North Island Hospitals Project at an estimated cost of up to $600 million, which includes two new hospitals to benefit Vancouver Island patients living in the Comox Valley, Campbell River and surrounding communities.