Photo: KTW file
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix
The provincial health minister says a business plan for the cancer care centre long promised for Kamloops has now been completed.
Adrian Dix was asked about the status of the business plan during a news conference on Wednesday.
“The business plan is completed and was completed exactly in the timeframe that we said it would be completed,” Dix said.
Last spring, Dix visited Kamloops to announce a concept plan for the cancer care centre had been approved, saying a business plan would be finished by the end of 2023.
No further official announcements about the business plan have been made by the ministry since then, but Dix told reporters in November the project was still on track.
Dix said Wednesday business plans for the Kamloops facility and the centre promised for Nanaimo have been completed, noting the Kamloops project was “slightly more complicated.”
“It was completed slightly later in 2023 because there’s parking involved, that’s a project we’re doing with the regional hospital district that the community very much wanted, and wasn’t adequately dealt with in previous developments at Royal Inland Hospital,” Dix said.
“But the business plan is completed and I’ll be happy to share details soon.”
When asked when the facility is expected to be operational, Dix said he would share more details upon a visit to Kamloops, which “should be soon.”
When the cancer care centre announcement was made in May, the minister said he expected the facility to be receiving its first patients in 2027.
The cost of the project, planned to be built on a site next to RIH, was estimated to be between $200 million and $300 million. It will include a 470-stall parkade to help alleviate the hospital’s parking crunch.
The centre is slated to include three radiation treatment linear accelerators, radiation therapy planning, a CT simulator, an MRI scanner, and an outpatient care unit.
Diagnositcs and chemotherapy are available for RIH patients, but area residents must travel to Kelowna to undergo radiation treatment. The Thompson Regional Hospital District estimates about 40 per cent of patients receiving radiation treatment at the BC Cancer Centre in Kelowna are from the Thompson-Cariboo-Shuswap health service delivery area.
A Kamloops cancer care centre has been promised multiple times, most recently in 2020 when former Premier John Horgan said on the campaign trail that one would be built within the next four years if he won.