The recently released report on Burnaby Hospital blames the Fraser Health Authority for the hospital's woes instead of the B.C. Health Ministry, according to local MLA Kathy Corrigan.
"That's exactly what the report has done, it comes down hard on the Fraser Health Authority," Corrigan said in an interview with the NOW.
According to the Burnaby-Deer Lake MLA, the Liberals on the public consultation committee were planning to blame the Fraser Health Authority for the hospital's problems instead of the provincial Health Ministry, which allocates funding for health authorities.
The committee was tasked with gathering public input on what should be done with Burnaby Hospital, a seismically unsound and aging facility plagued with C. difficile outbreaks that have lead to the deaths of some patients.
"We had a report 11 years ago that said Burnaby Hospital was in dire shape, seismically fragile and needs to be rebuilt, and we've had 11 years, and nothing has happened," Corrigan said. "And their report reflects again that Burnaby Hospital has been neglected, and it has been starved in terms of programs and resources. I don't care at this point about the petty politics that has gone on behind the scenes to score political points, but what I do care about is that the government gets on with it and builds a new hospital."
The petty politics Corrigan is referring to centre on leaked documents that suggest the committee was using the hospital issue and public consultation process as a means to boost the Liberals' standing in Burnaby and de-seat Corrigan in the next election.
The committee was led by Burnaby's two Liberal MLAs - Harry Bloy and Richard Lee - as well as citizen chair Pamela Gardner, an avid Liberal supporter.
"The report is entirely tainted by the fact that it's politically motivated and has political instruction attached as to what the outcome would be," Corrigan said.
Corrigan is calling for a new hospital to be built, yet the 141-page report, released Friday morning, states that a new facility will not solve all of Burnaby Hospital's problems.
"We absolutely need a new hospital," Corrigan said. "There's a Fraser Health document from 11 years ago, it says in no uncertain terms that the hospital needs to be torn down and rebuilt, and there's been no action."
All criticism aside, Corrigan also said the report was "not completely useless" because there were members of the public submitting their suggestions in good faith.
The report, which contained statements and presentations from Burnaby residents, Burnaby Hospital doctors and nurses, as well as other experts and stakeholders, gave examples of many of the problems plaguing the departments at the hospital.
The committee conducted its public consultations over the summer, and the report was released to Fraser Health and the Health Ministry. Fraser Health is now working on a master plan for the possible expansion or replacement of the hospital.
Lee was not available for immediate comment, nor was Bloy.
With files from Janaya Fuller-Evans.
Click here to read the full report.
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