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Two contractors selected to bid on future Kamloops cancer centre

FILE PHOTO - Health Minister Adrian Dix speaks during an announcement at the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, B.C., on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2023.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel

After years of challenges and incremental progress, the provincial government is moving along in the process for building a new cancer treatment centre in Kamloops.

The BC government has accepted submissions for two companies to make a proposal for the new centre at Royal Inland Hospital, according to a press release from the Ministry of Health issued today, June 17.

“Four months ago, we said the short list of the request for qualifications for the new Kamloops cancer centre would be ready in June and it is,” Minister of Health Adrian Dix said in the release. “I’m pleased that the procurement phase for this project is proceeding to the next stage and people in Kamloops and Thompson Cariboo area will be one step closer to having cutting-edge, comprehensive cancer care and treatment that’s close to home.”

EllisDon Corporation and PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc. are the two companies that will submit their proposals for the estimated $359 million treatment centre.

BC Cancer and Interior Health will evaluate the proposals, choose the design-build team and construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2025.

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“As we move through the procurement process for the new Kamloops cancer centre, we are another step closer to starting construction,” president and CEO of Interior Health Susan Brown said in the release. “Together with BC Cancer, we are looking forward to bringing expanded cancer services to patients and their families in a new modern space.”

Dix spoke with reporters at a virtual press conference on June 17 as part of the bidding process update. He said the Kamloops cancer centre is just one of several new facilities being built under the BC NDP and said they were years in the making, delayed because of the failings of previous governments.

"What we're doing is doing what had been failed to be done," he said. "We're building the hospitals we need for the next 50 or 60 years."

This step forward has come after years of waiting. The new centre was originally promised by John Horgan in 2020 while campaigning for re-election.

His government won that election, but his promise to have the centre built within his term didn't pan out. Instead, construction is expected to start next summer.

"The easiest way to put it is we're not a priority," Thompson Regional Hospital District board chair Mike O'Reilly said back in January.

The centre is going to be a five-storey building on the Westlands site on the hospital grounds.

READ MORE: 'We're not a priority': Province mum on promised Kamloops cancer centre

The treatment centre will be outfitted for radiation treatment, radiation-therapy planning, including a CT simulator, an outpatient ambulatory-care unit, including 10 exam rooms, and two consultation rooms for radiation-therapy services, an additional MRI suite, and patient arrival and check-in areas. There are plans to include a new 470 stall parkade as part of the centre.

“Today marks an important step forward in enhancing cancer services in the region,” BC Cancer’s executive vice-president and chief medical officer Dr. Kim Nguyen Chi said in the release. “The new BC Cancer centre at Royal Inland Hospital will provide high-quality, accessible, and life-saving care to patients facing cancer, and uphold our commitment to Indigenous cultural safety.”

Some cancer treatments are available locally, but Kamloops residents have to travel to Kelowna for radiation treatment.

These plans are part of the province’s 10-year BC Cancer Action Plan to improve cancer treatment around B.C.

“Our government has made unprecedented investments to expand cancer services across the province to meet the increased demand as the population grows and ages rapidly and more people will be diagnosed with cancer,” Dix said.

— This story was updated with comments from Adrian Dix at 1:15 p.m., June 17, 2024.

— With file from Levi Landry


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