SURREY – Health Minister Adrian Dix has announced a series of actions to improve healthcare in Surrey, including a significant expansion of Surrey Memorial Hospital.
The announcement comes as historic under-investment in Surrey healthcare facilities is contributing to challenges in the community.
In 2012, Finance Minister Kevin Falcon claimed a second hospital in Surrey wasn’t needed and sold off land that the BC NDP had designated for it.
To justify his view that a second Surrey hospital was unnecessary, Falcon pointed to an expansion of Surrey Memorial: “With the almost $600-million expansion of Surrey Memorial Hospital now underway at its current location, the land is surplus.”
But that expansion wasn’t nearly enough to keep pace with Surrey’s population growth. The Vancouver Sun wrote that “just weeks after Surrey Memorial Hospital opened its state-of-the-art emergency department last month, patients are again being treated in hallways.”
Patient Angelica Wrobbel said “there’s so much advertising now about the new emergency department and how state of the art it is and yet, when you get in the ward, it’s hell.”
“Only Kevin Falcon looked at the fastest growing community in Canada and thought a second hospital was surplus,” said BC NDP MLA Garry Begg. “When it came to expanding Surrey Memorial and building the second hospital, it wasn’t one or the other. We needed both a decade ago and we’ve been paying for Kevin Falcon’s choices ever since.”
Premier David Eby and the BC NDP are doing both by building the second hospital while also expanding Surrey Memorial. Government is also taking immediate action to improve care for patients and support for healthcare workers.
“Premier David Eby is taking action to expand Surrey Memorial while also building the second hospital that Kevin Falcon said wasn’t needed,” said Begg. “After years of under-investment in Surrey from Kevin Falcon and his party, we’re working hard to catch up and ensure that people in Surrey get the healthcare they deserve.”
Additional details on the announcement are available here.