Surrey is going to be the largest city in British Columbia soon, but a report from the Surrey Board of Trade called ‘Surrey’s Hospital Needs’ says services are severely insufficient. Residents can’t be treated within the city’s borders for the three leading causes of death – heart attack, stroke, and trauma, in addition to necessary specialty pediatric services. Patients requiring treatment must travel over a bridge to other hospitals to receive care.
The Fraser Health Authority recognizes Surrey Memorial Hospital as a regional hospital, however, it does not have the facilities and services required to treat for speciality pediatric services, heart attacks, strokes and trauma. Those patients must be transported to other hospitals across a bridge. Unfortunately, if there is a natural disaster that prevents access, there is no hospital south of the Fraser River that can treat heart attacks, strokes, pediatric specialty care or certain types of trauma.
“This is unacceptable for our workforce and residents,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “As the BC Government considers investments in healthcare, they must provide funding for both Surrey Memorial Hospital and the new Surrey hospital to ensure there are enough maternity beds, ER beds, pediatric beds, and that there is the ability for healthcare professionals to treat heart attack, stroke, and trauma.”
As it stands, there is no emergency plan that addresses how residents living south of the Fraser will access life-saving services in the event of a natural disaster.
We agree with and welcome the BC Government’s investment in Surrey – but there needs to be more consideration to incorporating services into Surrey’s health care eco-system for people who need care.
Surrey is going to be the largest city in British Columbia in the next two decades. This reality will come sooner given Federal Government immigration targets. Many of these newcomers will choose Surrey or other cities south of the Fraser River as their home. The hospitals south of the Fraser do not have the necessary investments to keep up with this population growth.