WTS – What the Surrey #12 – Surrey Memorial Hospital Facilities Expansion


Monday, October 1st, 2007 — 11:16am PST
Comments 9

The only time I spent as a patient at Surrey Memorial Hospital was way back on January 9th, 1980. Of course at the time I was only 7lbs, but I’m pretty thankful that SMH staff was there to bring me into this world, even though I was already pretty eager to enter it.

My brother, sister, niece, nephews and two cousins were all born there as well. I’ve taken loved ones to the emergency room, picked up post-op friends and visited new mothers. I know it’s not the best facility around, but it really should be.

There are two major issues regarding medical facilities in Surrey right now, the first being an emergency room expansion.

Its current ER – the busiest in B.C. – was designed to handle 44,000 visits a year but has instead been seeing close to 70,000 patients annually.

The new Emergency Centre will be triple the size of the current ER and will include a separate children’s emergency room as well as a separate mental health and addictions area, an enhanced minor treatment unit, and an improved area for acute patients.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2008 with completion by 2010. [Surrey Leader]

Corporate donors and local businesses have helped raise a huge chunk of the $15 million still required to get the redevelopment and expansion moving, but this morning the SMH Foundation is launching an appeal for public support to raise the rest. A part of this is the “Tulips for Tomorrow” campaign which will see tulips planted in high-traffic areas of the City.

The second, more sensitive issue, is the building of the Surrey Outpatient Hospital. A new primary health care clinic and clinics for patients with chronic diseases… adjacent to Green Timbers Urban Forest.


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The building’s site at 140th Street and Fraser Highway is controversial, as it will destroy a forest meadow. But the outpatient hospital should help the health region that has suffered from a lack of resources…

…Outpatient facilities at Surrey Memorial handle 134,000 visits and perform 94,300 procedures annually. Both are beyond its capacity. By moving those facilities, Surrey Memorial should be better able to treat the heavy emergency, acute and surgical caseload. [The Province]

More beds, more care, more attention, less forest and meadow land. Talk about a catch 22. If only we could replace one of those huge lots set to “bring Yaletown to Whalley” with a medical facility I think we’d all be able to sleep better at night. But look at the bright side, at least they’re not proposing to bring in a giant animatronic tyrannosaurus rex to help raise funds for these causes.

If you would like to donate to the SMH Foundation, you can do so on their website. More details about the “Tulips for Tomorrow” campaign will follow.

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9 comments

  1. Duane says:

    I’ve always thought that it would be fair that if you destroy agricultural land while building something new, that you should be forced to put a bunch of vegetation on the roof or something similar. In terms of a hospital, I think it would be rather cool to go up to the roof and have a mini forest.

  2. PatZ says:

    “More beds, more care, more attention, less forest and meadow land.”

    must…keep…economics theories…out of…head… damn you Utility Theory!

    my sister works at the U of A hospital in edmonton and she brings home stories about bed shortages.

    she also wakes me up in the morning with text messages saying “I CPR’d the shit out of someone last night!”

    do you know if there’s any debate surrounding this about people in favour of a two tiered system? this was the argument at home, either build a new publicly funded hospital next to edmonton that used up a good chunk of land, or let some patients pay for treatment to avoid wait times at the 4+ hospitals in the city.

  3. Duane Storey says:

    The solution isn’t a two-tiered system IMO — that only helps the people with awesome medical coverage or lots of money. I don’t think it really has a place in a socialized country. The solution is to fix what’s broken in our current medical system, either by allocating more money or by raising taxes primarily to go to the medical system. I’d be more than happy to accept another 1% on the GST or income tax if it meant better health care with reduced wait times. I was in the hospital last week, and there was basically a bed-raffle in the morning to see who would have a bed, and who would sleep in the hall or stay in the ER. Not a very good state for the system to be in.

    Once you go two-tiered, you’re really setting yourself up for the problems that exist in the states.

  4. zona says:

    gee. you and my grandaughter have something in common!

  5. Adonica Monroe says:

    I think this tulips idea sounds great! How can we help support!! Lets get something going!!

  6. […] this week I wrote about the growing need for better healthcare facilities in the Fraser Valley and the Surrey Memorial […]

  7. […] website popped onto my radar a short while ago when they linked my story about the Surrey Memorial Hospital, even though they’ve been around for the last four years. Langley’s longest-running and […]

  8. […] October I wrote a post about the Surrey Memorial Hospital expansion, and followed up by contacting the Fraser Health Authority about a campaign I had read about. As a […]

  9. […] the campaign that also allows you to place a donation online. SMH continues to be important to me (read my history of the hospital) since not only was I born there, my niece and nephews were as well. Digg it Add to del.icio.us […]

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