Surrey Hospitals Foundation report calls for locally-led health care task force

Longer-term solutions and a locally-led task force are needed to help fix the current state of health care in Surrey, a Surrey Hospitals Foundation report recommends.

The summary report comes from May’s health care summit that Surrey Hospitals Foundation convened. A group of 60 community leaders and health care stakeholders met in Surrey on May 30.

Jane Adams, president and CEO of Surrey Hospitals Foundation, said she was impressed by the level of optimism and collaboration at the summit.

“Everyone from every walk of life was coming to the table with a positivity you know, sort of a willingness to be part of a solution,” Adams said.

Health care leaders from Fraser Health, UBC, SFU, first responders, clinical staff, business leaders and local community leaders attended.

Soon after the summit, B.C. health minister Adrian Dix visited Surrey Memorial Hospital.

“We were really excited that he came and he acknowledged that Surrey has a very important role in the whole health ecosystem,” Adams said.

She noted that the 30-point plan Dix unveiled addressed similar issues to the ones raised by physicians at the summit.

“So we saw that as very positive. That there is a common understanding, particularly in the short term,” Adams said. “We still feel that mid- to long-term planning that’s informed by evidence, local leadership, that that would that would be very complimentary to what the minister has announced.”

Adams told the Now-Leader at the summit there was a “great deal of interest in having a multi-talented, multifaceted task force to work with the government to ensure that what we plan is evidence-based built for our population, but that it’s executed in a timely and thoughtful way.”

Adams said it’s too early to tell if the provincial government would work with this task force – the report was sent to the province on July 10.

Participants at the summit also identified 19 priorities and agreed on these four additional short-to-long-term recommendations for Fraser Health and the government:

• Match urgent needs with urgent solutions (for example, address the hospitalist shortage immediately).

• Fund an inclusive, comprehensive, acute and community health services plan for Surrey. Use results of the plan to inform future health care investments in Surrey.

• Build the second tower with more facilities at Surrey Memorial Hospital (already provided for in earlier capital planning processes).

• Improve training, education, research, recruitment, and retention for doctors, nurses and allied health personnel.

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