Cowichan, where do you want your hospital?

Planning ahead: The CVRHD is looking for land in the hopes that funding and approval will come forward for a new hospital

Do you care where the new Cowichan District Hospital is located?

If you do, you may want to be at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena on Saturday, Nov. 30 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The Cowichan Communities Health Network is hosting a forum on the topic designed to update the community on the hospital replacement process and give local residents a chance to share feedback about properties they think could be a good fit.

Acquiring a suitable site for a new hospital is just one step in a process that remains in the very early stages, according to a press release from the Cowichan Valley Regional Hospital District.

“The CVRHD wants to do its part to ensure that the right piece of property is available should a hospital project be approved in the future,” said CVRHD chairman Rob Hutchins.

A new hospital for the Cowichan Valley would require regional and provincial government approval. At this time, no approvals or funding are in place.

Should the long-term strategy for a new hospital eventually be approved and funded, the land acquired by the CVRHD would be part of its 40-per-cent contribution to the cost of a new hospital.

An expression of interest process will take place later this year inviting landowners to submit potential sites.

Constructing a new hospital would be the single largest public expenditure ever undertaken in the Cowichan Valley Regional District. Local taxpayers will pay 40% of a project expected to cost in excess of $300 million. The CVRD started saving money four years ago.

“We have endeavoured to make sure we are ready if and when the Ministry of Health says ‘we have funding to help you build a new hospital,’” said Hutchins.

“We haven’t got a new hospital yet; this is just one more step toward a new hospital that we desperately need.”

Saturday’s forum will include a presentation about the history of CDH, as well as panel presentations about what is a community hospital, day-to-day operations and master site planning, and a question and answer session.

For more information, contact Cindy Lise at 250-709-5062 or cindylisecchn@shaw.ca.