Forget for a moment that the Liberal boosters on the Burnaby Hospital's community consultation committee displayed an awesome lack of email due diligence when they chatted about how they could turn the report into a political tool.
Forget, if you can, that the lack of concern over those same emails seemed particularly telling.
Put all of that aside for a moment and consider this: Burnaby Hospital, as a healing place, is sick.
The details provided in the 141-page report released on Friday draw a grim picture. There is a plague of problems challenging the hospital: its inadequate electrical system is such that WorkSafe
B.C. won't let them plug in their Christmas tree; there aren't enough sinks for nurses and visitors to wash their hands in; the operating rooms aren't big enough to hold the equipment necessary for operations and there are four to six patients in a room sharing one bathroom. The hospital, mostly made up of buildings 60 years old, is not earthquake safe and is in desperate need of renovations - if, indeed it is capable of being renovated. But none of this is news. Surely, the province and Fraser Health were aware of this when they reviewed plans for new hospitals and other hospital upgrades in the region. In June, then-health minister Michael de Jong announced a $750-million redevelopment of Royal Columbian Hospital. Just before that, Premier Christy Clark announced a huge upgrade and renovation for St. Paul's Hospital. But all Burnaby Hospital got was a community consultation committee with political baggage.
Will the province and Fraser Health pledge to help heal our ailing hospital? Will the Liberal MLAs who say the report was not about politics but about fixing health care in the city, promise to rebuild the hospital? Or, for that matter, will the NDP MLAs and Adrian Dix jump on the promise wagon and steal the show?
We eagerly await the next chapter.
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