University Hospital of Northern British Columbia (UHNBC) in Canada is set to receive a new cardiac unit as part of a new patient care tower, which secured the government approval.

Originally named Prince George Regional Hospital, UHNBC was constructed in 1958, with additions made in 1978 and 2003. There are ten other buildings that constitute the 216-bed UHNBC site.

The existing facility is considered outdated and small to cater to growing regional population. Also, cardiac care has been identified as a critical service gap.

A concept plan was submitted to the provincial government by Northern Health in December 2017 and was amended in February this year.

It was approved by the Treasury Board and will receive funding under the government’s ten-year capital plan.

Following the approval, the business plan phase will be initiated and details, such as the new facility’s scope and budget, will be finalised.

This involves details for different acute care services at the facility, including new mental health, surgical and cardiac unit. The phase is expected to take about 12 to 18 months.

After approval of the business plan, the project will progress to procurement, followed by construction.

British Columbia Minister of Health Adrian Dix said: “UHNBC has needed redevelopment for years and in my visits to the community I have personally seen how out-of-date the current facility is.

“Today’s action speaks to the future – in particular the ability to deliver improved cardiac care services in the North.”

In July this year, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada awarded a $330m contract to Avalon Healthcare Partnership to construct a adult mental health and addictions hospital in St. John’s.