The province has broken ground on a new, second hospital for the City of Surrey, but the project’s cost has risen by more than $1 billion and its completion date has been pushed back by two years.
B.C. Premier David Eby and Health Minister Adrian Dix spoke at the construction site in Cloverdale Tuesday morning, releasing updated details on the long-promised facility.
Last year, officials priced the project at roughly $1.72 billion. The timeline called for construction to begin in July of this year, with a completion date of April 2027. Early Tuesday morning, the date on the sign at the site was covered up with yellow tape.
The total cost of the project is now expected to be $2.88 billion, with work scheduled to be completed in 2029 and the facility opening to patients in 2030.
Eby said there are “a number of reasons for the extended timeline,” including the needs of the contractor building the project and “labour availability.”
“The critical piece for us is to get this hospital open as soon as possible,” he said. “The commitment is there from the contractors – both in the contract and personally – to meet those deadlines and those prices for taxpayers and for the people in Surrey, who deserve health care.”
The project is said to include nearly 168 inpatient beds, 55 emergency treatment rooms and four procedure rooms.
The new Surrey hospital and BC Cancer Centre will also feature advanced diagnostics services such as a medical imaging department with three CT scanners and two MRI machines.
The large project is intended to provide patients and families with better access to care and support closer to home.
In recent days, local health-care workers have rallied and urged the province to step in and help with overwhelming hospital demand.
Over the weekend, hundreds of residents and health-care workers rallied alongside local leaders, including Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke, calling for drastic improvements to health-care services in the Fraser Health region.
Asked about the disparity in hospital facilities available in Surrey versus those available in Vancouver, Eby addressed Saturday’s rally, saying he agrees that “Surrey needs fair treatment.”
“The investment that our government is putting into health care in Surrey is unmatched in the history of the province, and that’s because we know it’s growing quickly and we know the people of Surrey deserve it.”
Dix has outlined a 30-point plan to improve patient care at Surrey Memorial Hospital such as increasing staff, expanding the family birthing unit and operating rooms and upgrading renal services.