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British Columbia

Surrey, B.C., hospital to get critical care tower with acute, specialized services

SURREY, B.C. — A new critical care tower will be built at the current hospital site in Surrey, B.C., to take pressure off the overcrowded emergency room and add capacity for specialized care, Premier David Eby says. 

“If you live in Surrey, you know very well that the per-capita funding for health care in this city was less than the other side of the river,” Eby said, referring to the Fraser River which intersects Metro Vancouver. 

“The impact of that has been that people can’t get the care that they deserve in this city,” the premier told a news conference at Surrey Memorial Hospital on Monday.

Eby said the new tower will help change that, adding capacity for surgical, pediatric, perinatal, women’s health, mental health and stroke care.

The province is at a stage where it will soon start asking for feedback from health professionals who work at the hospital, Eby said.

Details, such as the projected cost and the exact number of new beds, will be available after the business plan for the new tower is developed over the next 15 to 18 months, Health Minister Adrian Dix told the news conference.

“We make this announcement because we have put money in the 10-year capital plan to cover the cost. We obviously refine what those costs are,” he said.

Similar towers have added up to 200 beds with price tags in the range of $1.3 billion, Dix said.

The announcement comes after the B.C. government outlined 30 actions to improve access to health care for people in Surrey last June, a list that included reviewing site needs at Surrey Memorial.

A second hospital with a cancer care centre is already under construction in Surrey, and the city will be home to a new medical school in partnership with Simon Fraser University, Eby added.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 11, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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