While the new location of St. Paul’s Hospital will provide a ‘world-class’ centre, the focus right now is what is needed on the inside. In the second part of a series on Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Hospital, Global News gets an exclusive look at what the new hospital will look like.
“This land will give us the opportunity to build a world class academic, health science, teaching and research centre that’s connected out into the community and to primary care,” said Providence Health Care executive vice president David Byres.
“And really be a catalyst for change to deliver much more patients centered care for British Columbians for great outcomes.”
The new site, which is only three kilometres away from the current location on Burrard Street, will be three times larger. But with an increase in size, comes a complicated and complex process.
Currently, Byres says, they are in the first step of creating a clinical plan. The plan, while still at the high-level phase, talks about various services and clinical models the hospital plans on using.
READ MORE: Why do we need a new St. Paul’s Hospital?
While the models are still in the planning and development stages, Providence Healthcare would like to change the way the Emergency Department (ED) is used. Right now, Dr. Dan Kalla, the head of the Emergency Department, says almost half the people waiting in the ED, sometimes for hours, do not need to be there.
“I’d like to see one-stop shopping… but it doesn’t mean the one-stop would be the ED. That means there’d be some central intake place. ED care would be done quickly with privacy and comfort. And people, who don’t need it, like prescription refills, would be diverted to adjacent facilities.”
Those adjacent facilities would include a 24/7 primary care clinic, as well as more community clinics, and a separate centre for mental health and addictions.
BC Health Minister Terry Lake said “it’s about total care.”
“There will be a birthing centre and a new model of elder care, particularly focusing on dementia and how we look after people at the end of life as well,” Lake said.
Along with a streamlined ED, the new St. Paul’s will have many more single patient rooms. As it currently operates, most are four patient rooms, which can be dangerous for infection control and prevention. The new facility will aim for at least 80 to 90 per cent single occupancy rooms.
WATCH: St Paul’s ER physician Dr. Dan Kalla explains the problems facing the aging facility and why the hospital needs to move
The new St. Paul’s is expected to cost $1.2 billion. The province is already committed to providing $500 million, and the remaining cost will be covered by Providence Healthcare by using existing lands it already owns, like the current St. Paul’s site.
Neil MacConnell , a former Providence manager who was rehired to lead the project, said the Burrard Street site could be demolished, sold, or leased out.
But Lake says the public will also get a say in what happens and that there is a good chance some medical services or a medical clinic will remain at the Burrard Street site.
Construction on the new site is expected to begin in 2018 and the ‘world class’ hospital will be built by 2022 or 2023.