04/26/2012 01:02 EDT | Updated 06/26/2012 05:12 EDT

Two new hospitals planned for Vancouver Island

The B.C. government will spend an estimated $600 million to build two new hospitals on Vancouver Island in the Comox Valley and Campbell River, Premier Christy Clark has confirmed.

The new 153-bed Comox Valley hospital will replace the existing St. Joseph's General Hospital, which was built in 1937, on a new site adjacent to the North Island College.

The new 95-bed Campbell River Hospital will replace the existing acute care facility, which was built in 1956, at the existing site.

Construction is expected to begin in 2013 and be completed in 2017, and create up to 1,900 construction jobs in the region. The final cost is to be determined once the procurement process is completed.

Several years ago, the Vancouver Island Health Authority approved a plan to build a single new hospital for the North Island region, but the plan was met with strong opposition by residents and local official.

Gwyn Frayne, with Citizens for Quality Healthcare says she's happy about the expected announcement.

"This is good, good news, and if it's politically motivated, at the moment, I don't care. It's just good news," said Frayne.