Photo by Don Fennell
Richmond First is calling on the province to commit, immediately, to building a new acute care tower at Richmond Hospital.
At a morning press conference Tuesday, Richmond First city councillors Derek Dang, Bill McNulty and Linda McPhail explained that nearly 2,000 people have already signed a public petition calling on Premier John Horgan to include the request in the 2018 provincial budget.
McNulty, in fact, called for “an entirely new hospital.”
“We started our petition a little over two months ago hoping to get 1,100 signatories asking the premier and his government to commit to a new acute care tower. We’re already at nearly 2,000 and it’s still going strong,” McNulty said. “Our community is united calling for a replacement of our 50-year-old acute care tower, and today we’re calling on the premier to act.”
Since launching on Nov. 30, more than 1,842 people have signed the Richmond First Voters Society petition.
“Nearly $27 million has already been raised by Richmond Hospital Foundation to support the new tower,” said McPhail. “We have nearly 2,000 people signing a petition, and doctors and medical professionals are sounding the alarm about the need for change.”
Since the 2017 provincial election, the government has committed to move to business planning to construct new hospitals in Williams Lake and Terrace, and have started a concept plan for a new hospital in Surrey.
A concept plan for a new acute care tower in Richmond was delivered by Vancouver Coastal Health to the provincial government in early 2017. To date, no further action has been taken.
“Richmond Hospital has one bed available per 1,000 people living in Richmond, the fewest of any hospital in B.C.,” said Dang. “We’re not asking for special treatment, we’re asking for equal treatment.”
Richmond Hospital opened Feb. 26, 1966 with 132 beds for under 50,000 residents. Today, with 233 beds, it serves 220,000 residents.