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Cariboo Memorial Hospital project looking to increase healthcare professionals

More healthcare professionals is a goal with the redevelopment project for the Cariboo Memorial Hospital.

However, the last couple years have seen the profession roll back into a more fragile state, with bringing in and retaining employees becoming more of a challenge.

Al Richmond, Chairman of the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District, feels as the project will draw in more professionals.

“I believe that modern facilities will attract healthcare professionals to provide them with a welcoming workplace to deal with some of the stress things that they deal with.” says Richmond.

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“I think any facility that becomes modern and bright, and is welcoming as a workplace stands a better chance than a tired facility.”

Though, Richmond notes that bringing in more professionals is hopeful thinking at this point.

The project itself will be costing over $366 million, which will be split between the province and the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District.

With the project not only being modern, and having a large budget, all that will come at a cost.

“We’re increasing the mill rate to $75 per 100,000 this year in anticipation of some of these costs, but it isn’t just this one project, it’s the number of projects needed to bring healthcare facilities up to standard.” says Richmond

The overall budget has seen a fairly large increase, where in May 2022 the budget was over $217 million.

However, the Province sees the amount of money going in now, to be worth it.

“We’ve seen an increase in the cost of all capital projects and building in general. In that time, we go through a competitive bidding process and we get the best bid, by the best builders.” says Adrian Dix, BC Minister of Health.

“This hospital’s gonna be in place for 40 or 50 years, and it is absolutely worth it for the people of Williams Lake and people in the Cariboo.”

Dix recognizes the hospital as an important building in the Cariboo, as many people were born there, had children there, and have lost people there.

For more information on the project, you can visit the previous story here.

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