‘Concept planning’ for a new Surrey hospital is underway

It’s a first step in planning for a hospital here

Concept planning for a new hospital in Surrey is underway.

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced on Monday at Surrey City Hall that the provincial government is taking the first step in planning for a new hospital in the city.

While information on a budget or location were not part of the announcement, Dix said the government is entering the concept planning stage, which could take up to a year to complete.

“It’s a significant review process,” said Dix. “Once the concept plan is approved, we start with the business plan and then we go ahead with building the hospital.”

Dix estimates that the concept planning and review process will cost $3 million.

“The reason we wanted to announce this now is because we wanted to get started. The sooner the concept planning process ends, the sooner we can start building.”

When asked about a rough estimate for the cost of the hospital, Dix said a number is yet to be determined.

“I’m not going to predict that today,” he said. “We’re proceeding with the concept plan, it’s fully funded, and we’re going to take it seriously.”

Overall timelines for the hospital project would vary depending on each stage of completion, with new hospital builds ranging from between six to 10 years from concept plan to project completion, according to Dix.

“Surrey Memorial Hospital delivers first-class health care, but we recognize with a rapidly growing community that access to this care is becoming difficult for a great number of people,” Dix stated.

Dix has a few ideas on what specifically needs to improve in terms of health care in Surrey.

“There are about 90,000 people in Surrey without a family doctor. It is a significant number for one community and we have to improve primary care moving forward,” he said.

“Our focus right now while we build the hospital is improving pediatric care and, of course, mental health and addiction issues.

“Those are the key things that I’m locked in on.”

The concept plan, to be funded by the Ministry of Health and Fraser Health, is a first step in planning for a hospital.

“It lays out the need for a specific project and identifies potential locations,” according to a government release. “Concept planning is a key part of the process that ensures that the needs of the community are identified and addressed.”

Dix said while the bill will fall on taxpayers, no changes to municipal or provincial taxes came with this announcement.

“Ultimately, it’s taxpayers who pay for it,” Dix said. “It’s a dramatically good deal in Canada compared to elsewhere in the world.”

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said she welcomed “this first step” by the provincial government to bring a new hospital to Surrey.

“The staff at Surrey Memorial Hospital do an incredible job in caring for our community, but they are clearly stretched,” Hepner said.

“With the growth Surrey is experiencing, a new hospital is clearly needed if we are to ensure our residents have timely access to medical care and services.”

Hepner also applauded the timing of the provincial government’s announcement.

“I’m delighted that in such an early stage of their government, they recognized the need early on and they’re willing to put pen to paper to get started and spend the millions of dollars to get it there,” Hepner said.

“I look forward to the discussion of where the hospital will be located, and the kinds of distinct care that it will offer going forward.”

Councillor Bruce Hayne commented on potential locations for the hospital, mentioning Panorama and Cloverdale as potential options.

Previously, there was land in Panorama to build a hospital, but it ended up being sold to developers, he added.

Hayne, a Cloverdale resident, makes a case for Cloverdale as an option.

“There’s certainly a growing community, there’s land, and the closest hospital to them is Langley Memorial Hospital,” Hayne said.

Chairman of the board for Fraser Health Jim Sinclair said although the concept planning process will take time, it’s vital to make sure the hospital is as efficient as possible.

“If we’re going to invest hundreds of millions of dollars, we have to make sure we’re getting the most out of that dollar.”

With files from Tom Zillich

 

Just Posted

130 women and children fleeing violence took shelter at Delta’s transition house in 2018

600 more women and children were turned away due to the house being at capacity

Crime in Surrey dropped by four per cent in 2018 from 2017, city’s top cop says

Surrey RCMP OIC sharing the news with council Monday as city transitions to city police force

MINTY: ‘Opening the Doors’ at Surrey gallery with local artist Joanne Dennis

Also, a called for submissions in Arts Council of Surrey’s ‘Just Gates’ exhibition

VIDEO: 11-year-old violinist practices for Vancouver Symphony Orchestra debut

Cloverdale student Da-Wei Chan will perform Jan. 31, Feb. 28 with the VSO

Surrey sees no extra lunacy because of eclipse

Mounties did not see an increase or decrease in files on Sunday night, Sergeant Chad Greig reports

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Speaker brings report on allegations to B.C. legislature committee

Report describes Darryl Plecas’ suspicions about senior staff

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Parole granted for drunk driver that killed BC RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

Doug Ford says the Liberals’ carbon tax will plunge Canada into recession

The Ontario premier said there are already warning signs of difficult economic times ahead

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Woman offers luxury Alberta home for just $25 and a flair for the written word

Alla Wagner ran into health problems, which forced her to list the 5,000-square-foot estate at market value

Most Read