2005年 02月 24日
"Victoria should plan major new hospital for mushrooming city of Surrey"
"Hospital chief fired; money freed to fix Surrey Memorial"
（Vancouver Sun ２月２３日）
Victoria should plan major new hospital for mushrooming city of Surrey
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Once written off as hopelessly hick, suburban Surrey continues to confound its critics and remains one of Canada's fastest-growing communities.
Already, it has nearly 400,000 residents. And the betting is, within the next decade, it will overtake Vancouver as B.C.'s largest city.
As a result, its only major hospital, Surrey Memorial, finds itself under enormous pressure.
That may help explain why Baljit Bains was sent home from the hospital's emergency ward earlier this month, despite coughing up blood and complaining of ill health. Bains, 42, collapsed at home an hour and a half later and was rushed back to the hospital, where he died two days later, on Feb. 13.
Would Bains have survived if he had received better treatment?
That's the question both his grieving relatives and other concerned Surrey residents want to know -- without undue delay.
Which is why we fully support the call by Surrey-Newton MLA Tony Bhullar for an inquest into Bains' death and the way he was treated in the public hospital.
An internal investigation alone is clearly not enough here.
Further, we support the call by Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum for provincial money to expand the hospital's troubled emergency ward. "We have to expand it in space, equipment and personnel to about three times the size it is currently," McCallum told Province reporter Lora Grindlay.
The mayor pointed out that, last year alone, some 15,000 new people came to Surrey to live. "I think it's time that the health ministry recognized how fast we're growing in Surrey and that we need some more facilities," he said.
As Grindlay noted, a leaked memo from Fraser Health CEO Bob Smith suggests there has been a "virtual flood of patients into our emergency departments." Also, a lack of ER nurses was cited in a recent health ministry report.
Now, it is often said that there is little certain in this world except death and taxes.
But we can be fairly certain of one thing: The pace of population growth in Surrey isn't going to slacken in the foreseeable future, especially given the high cost of living in the City of Vancouver.
That's why we think Victoria should immediately put in place plans for a second major hospital in the mushrooming Fraser Valley community.
What do you think? Leave a brief comment, name and town at: