British Columbia's oldest hospital is in the middle of a large-scale redevelopment that has so far gifted the facility with a brand new heliport. The landing pad, which opened earlier this month, is just one small part of a $1.35 billion revitalization of the 1862-opened Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.
The hospital is one of British Columbia's busiest and the only one with trauma, cardiac care, neurosurgery, high-risk obstetrics, neonatal intensive care, and acute mental health care on a single site. The three-phase redevelopment looks to elevate patient-centred care, increase the hospital's capacity by over 50 percent, and replacing aging facilities. It is the largest government funded capital health care project in provincial history.
Construction on the first phase began in 2016 and includes a new 75-bed mental health and substance use wellness centre, Fraser Health's first older adult psychiatric unit, and a psychiatric high acuity unit. The facilities will replace the 30-bed Sherbrooke Centre. To be completed by the time the second phase begins in 2020, the first round of work will also seed a new energy centre to replace the existing power plant, and 400-stall underground parking garage.
To be done by 2024, the second phase will introduce a new acute care tower to the site with hundreds of additional beds, a new larger emergency unit, and three more operating rooms forming part of a unified interventional 'super floor.' The hospital will have boosted the number of beds from 446 to 675 over this time.
The final phase will see completion in 2026 and focuses on upgrades to the existing Health Care Center and Columbia Tower to support the additional beds and services provided in phase two. This includes the expansion of support service areas, the pediatric unit, the neonatal intensive care unit, and outpatient clinics.
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