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B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix pauses while responding to questions during a news conference in Vancouver on Nov. 7, 2022.DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

The British Columbia government is preparing to build a new cancer care centre in Kamloops.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the new centre at the Royal Inland Hospital will include radiation therapy, meaning patients will no longer have to travel the roughly two hour trip to Kelowna for that treatment.

Dix says a “concept plan” for the centre, which was promised as part of the 2020 election, has been approved, and a business plan will be completed this calendar year.

Dix says he expects the building to be ready to see patients in 2027 and that cancer centres typically cost between $200 and $300 million.

The announcement comes more than a week after Dix announced up to 50 B.C. cancer patients will be referred to two clinics in Washington every week in an effort to reduce wait times for radiation therapy.

At the time, Dix said nearly 83 per cent of B.C. patients start radiation within 28 days from the date they’re ready for the treatment, which doesn’t meet the clinical benchmarks the province has set as a goal.