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BC to start new children’s/women’s hospital

VANCOUVER – The first phase in the redevelopment of BC Children’s and BC Women’s Hospitals is about to begin with a $90.5-million contribution from the Province, benefiting children and their families across British Columbia, Premier Gordon Campbell announced.

“Nobody wants to see their child get sick or hurt, but by further enhancing these world-class facilities families will have the best care possible right in our home province,” said Premier Campbell. “Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children, and this project ensures these resources will be around for our children and grandchildren for decades to come.”

Last year alone, there were more than 196,000 patient visits to BC Children’s Hospital, including 8,200 child surgeries and 42,800 ER visits. Approximately 7,000 women gave birth at BC Women’s Hospital last year, making it one of the busiest maternity centres in Canada.

The redevelopment of BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital, both agencies of the Provincial Health Services Authority, will be completed in three phases, with phase one beginning immediately.

The first phase will include opening three additional neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) beds at BC Women’s Hospital to help care for the province’s most vulnerable patients. Those additional beds will be added by November 2010, and will join the provincial network of NICU beds.

First phase work at BC Children’s Hospital and Shaughnessy building also includes:

• Site preparations for the new hospital.

• Additional space for the University of British Columbia’s faculty of medicine MD program.

• Construction of a brand new clinical support building and free-standing child day-care centre.

Phase One is expected to cost $90.5 million and generate approximately 579 direct construction related jobs.

The second phase will include: 

• Procurement and construction of the new BC Children’s Hospital acute care centre, including new emergency department, three floors of inpatient beds, consisting of 96 inpatient medical/surgical beds and 27 oncology inpatient beds, plus an oncology outpatient and day care program, a 28-bed paediatric intensive care unit (PICU), sterile processing department and radiology department, and additional expansion space for the UBC Faculty of Medicine MD program.

• Renovations to create a 70-bed NICU and expanded labour/delivery space.

The third phase will include:

• Renovation of the existing BC Women’s Hospital to provide ten additional single-room, maternity-care beds.

• Improvements to the rapid assessment area, and four new high acuity observation beds.

• Additional renovation work to the BC Women’s inpatient units.

• Relocation of Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children and its various child-development and rehabilitation services and programs to renovated space in the existing BC Children’s site.

The total project cost for all phases must still be finalized, but is estimated to be approximately $700 million.

“A world-class, expanded facility for the province’s teaching hospital will ensure new medical school graduates have access to the highest-quality learning opportunities,” said Health Services Minister Kevin Falcon. “We are making investments today to ensure our healthcare professionals have the best possible environment in which to provide healthcare services to children from every corner of British Columbia.”

The role of these two hospitals together is to provide critically needed specialized services to children, women and newborns across British Columbia,” said Wynne Powell, chair of the Provincial Health Services Authority board of directors. “The government’s commitment to expanding these two facilities will help us meet our vision of province wide solutions and better health.”

The BC Children’s Hospital Foundation has pledged to raise $200 million through the Campaign for BC Children, with $150 million going toward the new BC Children’s Hospital and $50 million toward Child Health BC. Child Health BC is a network of health authorities and health-care providers across British Columbia dedicated to excellence in the care of infants, children and youth.

“Thanks to the outpouring of support we’ve seen from thousands of British Columbians, we are making steady progress towards the Campaign for BC Children’s $200-million goal,” said Don Lindsay, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s campaign chair, and president and CEO of Teck Resources Limited. “Building a new BC Children’s Hospital is a major undertaking and couldn’t be accomplished without strong partnerships with communities and organizations across B.C.”

“When our child was sick, we spent countless days and hours at BC Children’s Hospital, and the compassion, dedication and hard work of everyone there made the experience much more bearable,” said Kelly Boechler, whose son spent 25 days on life support at BC Children’s Hospital. “We are so fortunate to have this facility right here in B.C., and I know that this new hospital will allow even more families like ours to receive compassionate care.”

BC Children’s Hospital (BC Children’s) provides expert care for the province’s most seriously ill or injured children, including newborns and adolescents. BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre (BC Women’s) provides services for pregnant women, newborns and women with specialized health needs from across the province.

BC Children’s and BC Women’s are both agencies of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), and are academic health centres affiliated with the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the Child & Family Research Institute, and the Women’s Health Research Institute. For more information, please visit and

The Provincial Health Services Authority plans, manages and evaluates selected specialty and province-wide, healthcare services across B.C., working with the five geographic health authorities to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. For more information, please visit

Posted September 23, 2010