The business plan for the Cowichan District Hospital Replacement Project should be done by the end of the year.

Island Health’s Dr. David Robertson said, although much of the work on the plan has been done and it is being written, the consultations are not over.

“We’ve done a huge amount of engagement so far and that’s going to get less and less as the weeks go by. When we get down to the writing stage we will come back with questions to people with requests for more information, more detail about particular points, but we are starting the process already of writing the report and then it will go to Island Health and then to the Ministry. Our plan is to have it submitted by the end of the year.”

Members of the planning group have determined the 20-acre property on Bell McKinnon Road is the right size.

They’ve done some brainstorming to ensure the hospital will be a sanctuary of healing and consideration has been given to ensuring there’s lots of natural light, some aspect of nature will be included, and the patient flow will make sense.

Parking, accessibility and alternate transportation options are being studied and environmental responsibility will be a priority.