Councillors are next week being recommended to approve plans for a specialist multi-million pound centre offering care for bone, muscle and eye conditions.
A 24-bed elective care centre is proposed at Inverness campus will offer knee, hip and cataract surgery alongside a full range of ophthalmology outpatient services.
The submission of a planning application last year by NHS Highland represented a major milestone in the project – which was due to be complete in August 2021.
However, delays have resulted in the centre’s estimated operational date being pushed back 12 months.
The cost of the centre has also risen dramatically from its initial estimate of £16million to £41.3 million – an increase of more than 150%.
NHS Highland has said work to clear the site has started ahead of the anticipated start of construction, should planning permission be granted.
The health authority said the care centre represents an “exciting project” and will go a long way to “improve the quality of care and facilities” as well as “providing extra capacity for the north of Scotland”.
Balfour Beatty will be in charge of construction.
Planning officials have recommended councillors approve the plans at the south planning committee next Tuesday.
Earlier plans had included a multi-disciplinary life sciences centre, but Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the University of Highlands and Islands propose constructing this on a separate site at the campus.