Premier visits MMH to announce partnership

VanMar Constructors chosen to partner with FHA to build the $40-million community health centre and campus of care.

  • Jan. 30, 2012 6:00 a.m.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark chats with a Mission Memorial Hospital employee Monday afternoon in the hospital cafeteria.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark was at Mission Memorial Hospital Monday to announce a partnership with VanMar Constructors in building a $40-million community health centre and campus of care.

“This is an aging community in desperate need of more support for senior citizens,” said Clark, adding the new 200-bed facility will help Mission residents seek health care locally.

Clark said the spending announcement is a contrast from the fact that only a few years ago people gathered outside of MMH to protest the concern that the hospital’s emergency ward was going to be closed due to lack of funding.

The premier also noted finding health care money is difficult, but necessary.

“Only the communities that really have a high priority are getting consideration at this time,” she said, adding the economic chaos has curtailed government spending which will be apparent in the upcoming  provincial budget.

Although Abbotsford’s hospital provides spillover care for MMH, Clark said the necessity of an upgrade to Mission’s facilities was made clear to her by local MLAs Randy Hawes and Marc Dalton.

“I’m a mom and when my child is in distress, I want to take him to the hospital that has a specialty in his distress,” she said.

Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Marc Dalton, who was on hand with Clark, said the new facility will be a provincial prototype for specialized health care.

The health centre is expected to be up to 27,000-square-feet with primary care programs, including a diabetes and seniors’ clinic, while the campus of care for seniors will be about 128,000-square-feet, providing 24-hour care.

Initial cost estimates peg the project at $40 million, with $22 million coming from the Fraser Valley Regional Hospital District and the remaining provided by Fraser Health and subsidiary branches.

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