NANAIMO, B.C. — The city of Nanaimo on central Vancouver Island is the latest British Columbia community to receive government approval for a cancer care centre, Premier David Eby said Friday.
The centre will be located at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.
B.C.'s growing and aging population has stretched demand and need for cancer treatment across the province, Eby told a news conference in Nanaimo.
"We know now that one in two people in B.C., that's every other one of us, will face a cancer diagnosis at some point in our lifetime."
He said 80 people in B.C. are diagnosed with cancer each day.
The Nanaimo announcement followed Thursday's long-awaited approval of a new cancer treatment facility at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.
The government also recently approved temporarily sending B.C. cancer patients to clinics in neighbouring Washington state to reduce wait lists at provincial treatment centres.
Eby said the Nanaimo cancer centre is expected to offer radiation therapy, an outpatient ambulatory care unit and the latest diagnostic technology.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said he expected the business plan for the treatment centre to receive approval by the end of this year, followed by a construction tender process, with the facility slated to open in the summer of 2027.
He estimated the cost of the cancer care centre to range from $200 million to $300 million.
Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson said the centre ensures many patients in Nanaimo and in communities north of the city on Vancouver Island will be treated closer to home rather than travelling hundreds of kilometres south to Victoria's cancer facility.
"We know the last thing people should be thinking about when they are fighting cancer is how close they are to their family and friends," she said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2023.
The Canadian Press