The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) provides health care to more than 765,000 people on Vancouver Island, the islands of Georgia Straight and in the mainland communities north of Powell River and south of Rivers Inlet.
Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) operates 12 acute care hospitals on Vancouver Island. These range from rural/remote facilities with basic emergency, diagnostics and basic medical inpatient beds, to full service tertiary facilities offering specialty programs to the entire population of Vancouver Island. In addition to these 12 hospitals, VIHA also provides funding through an affiliate agreement for one acute care hospital – St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Comox – that is owned and operated by the Archdiocese of Victoria.
The North Island Hospitals Project has completed the Request for Qualifications and is set to release the Request for Proposal in early April to the three proponents bidding on the project. The three proponents bidding on the project will submit their proposals in late fall 2013. These proposals will then be evaluated and the contract will be awarded in early 2014, with financial close in spring of 2014. Construction will begin shortly after the announcement of a winning bid and will last about 4 years. Both hospitals will be ready to open by fall 2017.
Community engagement is a critical aspect of this project for VIHA. We have committed to holding quarterly Open House meetings in Campbell River and the Comox Valley for the life of the project so that members of the community are able to learn about the project and ask questions of the project team. In addition to these meetings, we are committed to meeting with School Districts 71 and 72, the cities of Campbell River and Courtenay, the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District, Chambers of Commerce and any other stakeholders groups that are interested.
First Nations Involvement:
The North Island Hospitals Project is involved with the Aboriginal Working Group. This group meets monthly to discuss issues relevant to their communities and provide input on aspects of the project, including design and traditional healing features. This group consists of representatives from:
- Kwakiutl District Council
- Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council
- First Nations Health Authority
- K'ómoks First Nation
- Wachiay Friendship Centre
- VIHA Aboriginal Employment
- North Island Métis Nation
- MIKISW Métis Association
Community Economic Benefits
The North Island Hospitals Project will provide significant economic benefits to the communities of Campbell River and the Comox Valley, through both direct employment opportunities as well as the indirect economic spinoffs that emerge from projects of this size and scope that will positively benefit local businesses including restaurants, hotels, real estate and other service industries.
As the chart below shows, the North Island Hospitals Project estimates approximately 1,150 jobs in the Comox Valley and 1,030 jobs in Campbell River.
Preliminary Employment Numbers – Direct Employment