B.C. breaks ground on $2.88B hospital despite rising costs
Officials say the facility is needed too urgently to wait for better conditions.
B.C. officials celebrate the the start of a new hospital project in Surrey. – Province of B.C.
Shovels are in the ground for a new second hospital in Surrey and new cancer centre.
The groundbreaking comes despite massive cost escalations for the project due to inflation, supply-chain disruptions and labour shortages. Officials stated that the project is too critical to delay any longer.
“Surrey has been experiencing tremendous growth and people are struggling to get the health services they need while health-care workers are burning out,” said Premier David Eby. “We’re taking urgent action while carefully planning for the future. As we break ground on the new, state-of-the-art Surrey hospital and cancer centre, work continues on immediate actions to improve health services in the region, so everyone gets the timely, high-quality health care they need.”
Changing costs and timelines
Construction of this new hospital and cancer centre is anticipated to be complete in 2029 and open in 2030. The total cost of the project is anticipated to be $2.88 billion. Last year, officials announced the project would cost $1.72 billion. The timeline called for construction to begin this July and to wrap up in April 2027.
Fraser Health has executed a Design-Build Agreement with EllisDon Design Build Inc., which will be responsible for completing the design and construction of the new facility, making Surrey the first community in decades to get a second hospital.
“The new Surrey hospital and cancer centre gives us a rare opportunity to build a net-new hospital and cancer centre that will add much-needed capacity for health-care services in the community,” said Adrian Dix, minister of health. “The facts are the people of the fast-growing Surrey community need a second hospital and they need it as soon as soon as possible. So, despite significant cost escalation due to inflation, supply-chain disruptions and labour shortages, we are moving forward to deliver the new state-of-the-art hospital and cancer centre.”
The second hospital in Surrey will bring 168 more hospital beds, including medical/surgical beds, high acuity beds and medical oncology beds, and a second emergency department for the community with 55 treatment spaces and access to specialists through virtual technologies.
It will include a surgical/perioperative suite with five operating rooms, four procedure rooms and virtual care options in all clinical service areas, such as virtual intake, emergency followups, outpatient clinics and pre- and post-surgical care, as well as robotics, wearable technology and smart beds.
Adding a second hospital in Surrey will also bring a large medical-imaging department, including three CT scanners and two MRI machines, as well as a pharmacy, a full-service laboratory that can perform biochemistry, hematology and transfusions, and academic spaces. As well, a dedicated area for spiritual care and family gatherings will support cultural diversity and spiritual practices.
“The new hospital in Surrey will provide annual capacity for more than 28,000 surgical procedures, 280,000 additional medical-imaging exams and 120,000 emergency department visits with the addition of a second emergency department to serve the community,” Dix said.
In addition to building a second hospital in Surrey, the community will also have a BC Cancer Centre with a 50-room oncology ambulatory care unit. The new Surrey cancer centre will include 54 chemotherapy treatment spaces and room for six linear accelerators for radiation therapy to provide care and support for people diagnosed with cancer, two PET/CTs and a cyclotron. This new centre is expected to provide approximatley 105,000 ambulatory oncology care visits, 50,000 radiation therapy visits and 22,000 chemotherapy visits each year.
The cancer centre in Surrey is a part of B.C.’s 10-year B.C. cancer action plan, which outlines immediate steps to prevent, detect and treat cancers and deliver improved care for people facing cancer.
A new stand-alone 49-space child care centre will be built to support on-site health-care professionals, making it one of the first health-care capital projects to include on-site child care services.
It will also be a fully electric hospital, one of the first in Canada.