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BC’s biggest-ever healthcare project launched

SURREY, B.C. – Healthcare for families across the Fraser Valley will benefit from B.C.’s largest-ever healthcare expansion – the new, $512-million Surrey Memorial Hospital expansion project, which was officially launched in March.

“Surrey is one of British Columbia’s fastest growing cities and residents deserve top-quality healthcare,” said the province’s new Premier, Christy Clark (pictured). “This much-needed expansion will increase the number of beds at Surrey Memorial by close to one-third and help to ensure we continue to meet the health needs of Fraser Valley families for years to come.”

The project includes an eight-storey critical care tower and a new, larger emergency department about five times the size of the old one. It will also include a new perinatal centre of excellence for high-risk newborns, a larger adult intensive care unit and an expanded clinical academic campus for Surrey. In total, 151 new patient beds will be added to SMH.

“At $512 million, this is the largest healthcare capital investment ever started in B.C. It will help us expand our healthcare capacity in the Fraser Valley and create over 3,270 construction-related jobs,” said Minister of Health Mike de Jong.

Construction began in January following the signing of a final agreement between Integrated Team Solutions and Fraser Health.

ITS entered into a fixed-price, performance-based agreement to design, build, finance and maintain the new critical care tower and emergency department over a 30-year operating term. All clinical health services will be funded by the Province of British Columbia and provided by Fraser Health, in keeping with the principles of the Canada Health Act.

“We are building patient care in Surrey to reduce emergency department congestion and meet the growing community healthcare needs. Combined with the $237-million Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre that is set to open in June, we will have added over three-quarters of a billion dollars to Surrey’s healthcare infrastructure,” said Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Kevin Falcon.

“I’ve been involved and advocating for healthcare expansion in Surrey and at Surrey Memorial Hospital since 2001 and this construction is another great step for residents living within the Fraser Health region. Working with the SMH Foundation and the Health Ministry, as well as personally donating funds to the foundation, we continue to reach significant milestones in critical and emergency care. I am excited to see construction begin and work get underway,” said Surrey-Tynehead MLA Dave S. Hayer.

“The critical care tower and new emergency department will enable Surrey Memorial Hospital to continue to provide care to more patients in the years to come,” said Surrey-Panorama MLA Stephanie Cadieux.

The Surrey Memorial expansion is a great addition to the hospital and to the growing health services in the Fraser Valley. Healthcare is a priority, and the province has demonstrated that through a more than $1-billion investment in improved health-care infrastructure across the region, including this project and the expanded maternity services at Peace Arch Hospital, said Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg.

The expansion at SMH will also include renovations to the existing hospital. Those renovations will add inpatient beds, create an expanded family birthing unit, including a second dedicated maternity operating room, and expand the pharmacy and sterile processing unit. The emergency department will be completed in 2013, and the critical care tower will open to patients in 2014.

“Expansion of this important regional hospital is a great opportunity to improve access to care, including specialized health services, for residents of our large and fast-growing region. State-of-the-art facilities will support recruitment of more doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals to provide care to families from Surrey, from neighbouring communities and from across the province,” said Dr. Nigel Murray, president and CEO of Fraser Health.

The Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation will contribute approximately $15 million to the project. It is expected that combined the project will generate approximately 3,270 construction-related jobs.

“Our donors have been incredibly generous towards the Emergency Centre Campaign. The need is clear, and the community's response is outstanding,” said Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation chair Ron Knight.

Over the next three years, patients and health-care professionals across the province will benefit from investments in new medical equipment and modernized health facilities as part of a $1.9 billion health-care capital plan.

Posted April 7, 2011