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Less travel for Island cancer patients, after Nanaimo hospital upgrade complete

A new cancer centre in Nanaimo means Central and North Island patients won’t have to travel as far for consultations and treatments.

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (NRGH) will start construction next year on a new BC Cancer Centre.

“We are excited to bring a new BC Cancer centre to Nanaimo,” says Tracy Irwin, chief operating officer for BC Cancer. “The new cancer centre will complement the existing services provided by BC Cancer – Victoria and reduce the burden of travel for people living in central and north Vancouver Island communities. We look forward to working in partnership with Island Health to expand cancer care in this rapidly growing region.”

The three-storey centre will have 12 exam rooms, four consultation rooms and space for medical physicists and radiation therapists, medical imaging and radiation treatment for cancer patients.

The business plan was approved this week by the province. The procurement process is underway, with construction expected to start in 2025 and completed in 2028.

The project was originally announced in 2023, with an estimated completion in 2027. Since then, upgrades to NRGH have also been approved, such as a new single-storey addition to the ambulatory care building and expanded pharmacy.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says Nanaimo’s population is growing rapidly and aging, and stronger health services in the region will help people get the health care they need closer to home.

Currently the only on-Island cancer centre is in Victoria. There are other centres in Abbotsford, Surrey, Vancouver, Kelowna, and Prince George.

— With files from Mike Patterson

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