The Liberal government is stalling on a new Burnaby Hospital, according to the NDP's health critic.
Judy Darcy, NDP MLA for New Westminster, recently questioned the status of replacing Burnaby Hospital, which she says was promised during the Liberal's election campaign.
"Basically, I said I don't see Burnaby Hospital anywhere in the service plan or in the budget," Darcy told the Burnaby NOW. "(Health Minister Terry Lake) said, 'We're working on a highlevel master plan, concept plan, and then after that, a business case will get developed, and then after that, it's the redevelopment of the hospital."
Talk of the new hospital came up during the debate in the legislature at the end of July.
Darcy said after she pressed for an answer about the hospital's redevelopment, Lake responded that there's $414.5 million in line for various health infrastructure projects.
"I asked if we could have a breakdown of the $414.5 million, but (Lake) said, 'No we don't break it down because it's fluid,'" she noted.
Darcy said while she understands there are other projects on the go, a promise is a promise.
"It's not acceptable that promises are made during the election campaign and they aren't pinned down to concrete capital commitments that flow from them," she said. "How can people trust what's said, then?" Lake was not available to comment, but ministry spokesperson Ryan Jabs said in an emailed statement that the hospital has had an overall master plan since 2001.
Jabs pointed to Fraser Health's long-term plan announcement in March, which outlined three projects worth $5.5 million to "improve patient care and safety priority areas of the hospitals."
The areas include an emergency supertrack expansion, increased endoscopy and cystoscopy procedures and sterile processing department upgrades.
The work is expected to take 18 months to complete, and the sterile processing department upgrades will take longer to ensure the existing department is not disrupted.
With a $1.3-million cost, the hospital's sterile department upgrades are expected to take up to 18 months, but by 2020 it could process instruments for up to 16,500 surgeries per year. The emergency department upgrade cost is about $2 million.
"The ministry has also received and is reviewing the master site plan that Fraser Health submitted as part of this announcement,"
Jabs added. "This is a process that will take some time to make sure any redevelopment or new build will meet the needs of Burnaby now and in the years to come."
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