04/26/2012 03:16 EDT | Updated 06/26/2012 05:12 EDT

Two new hospitals for Vancouver Island to cost $600m; be complete by 2017

COURTENAY, B.C. - Premier Christy Clark has announced two new hospital projects on Vancouver Island costing a total of $600 million.

The new Comox Valley Hospital to be built in Courtenay will have up to 153 beds and replace the existing St. Joseph's General Hospital, which was built in 1937.

The government says locating the project next to North Island College will help link the facility to health care education offered by the college.

The other hospital will be built in Campbell River and have room for 95 beds.

Construction on both hospitals is expected to begin next year and be completed by 2017.