THE NDP on Tuesday slammed BC Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon, who recently promised to stop construction of the new Surrey Hospital, accusing him of making stuff up about how far along the project is.
According to the NDP:
Falcon claim #1: “They haven’t even started the request for qualifications.”
Fact: The request for qualifications started in November 2021.
Claim #2: “They’ve only put $2 million of planning money into the budget” for the new Surrey Hospital in 2022.
Fact: Budget 2022 shows that $2 million is what the BC NDP government already spent on preliminary work on the new hospital last year. Additional money will be spent this year to prepare for groundbreaking in 2023. (Budget page 76)
Claim #3: “It’s not a hospital. It’s an urgent care centre.”
Fact: The new hospital has a budget of $1.66 billion, making it the second biggest health project in the province right now. By comparison, urgent care centres (like the two recently built in Surrey) cost about $3 million.
The new hospital includes a range of services not provided by urgent care centres, including 168 in-patient beds, an emergency department, a medical imaging department, five operating rooms, and state-of-the-art Cancer Centre. The number of beds is comparable to Langley and Peace Arch hospitals. (Health Service Plan, p. 26)
The NDP pointed out that Falcon and the BC Liberals already delayed the new Surrey hospital once before when they sold the land intended for it. Now he’s planning to stop construction on the project, it added.
The hospital will break ground in 2023 and open for patients in 2027, the NDP said.