Health Minister Terry Lake says it’s past time for the NDP to make up their minds on a new St. Paul’s Hospital and health care campus that will benefit Lower Mainland residents and all British Columbians.
“When we made the announcement, the NDP wasted no time opposing the plan,” says Lake. “I directly asked opposition MLAs whether they supported this investment of more than $1 billion in a new, cutting edge health care campus – and they refused to take a stand.”
But now, reports in Chinese-language media suggest an NDP candidate has come out in support of St. Paul’s – suggesting the NDP puts politics ahead of policy principles.
“We’ve been consistent on where we stand and how we’re going to achieve our goals to deliver even better health care for British Columbians,” says Lake. “Spencer Chandra Herbert was the loudest voice when it came to opposing the new St. Paul’s, and but now it seems he may have been thrown under the by-election bus. It just shows a consistent pattern of the NDP not sticking with principles, but sticking their finger up to see which way the wind is blowing.”
By re-developing St. Paul’s Hospital at the 18.5 acre Station Street site instead of the current Burrard Street location will allow the following programs and services to be developed that would not be possible on the existing site:
- 24/7 primary care;
- Chronic Disease Management Services;
- Mental Health and Addictions beds and services and programs;
- Non-acute medical services;
- Low-risk birthing centre;
- End of life care;
- Residential care beds;
- Social Housing; and
- Wellness and Community Care programs.
The new hospital will continue as one of British Columbia’s two most specialized hospitals for adults. It will also be at the centre of a network of new and existing dedicated primary care services in the region, including services to support those living in Vancouver’s West End. In addition, as part of the Station Street development, Providence Health Care will look at building a number of social housing units to provide affordable housing options for Vancouver residents.