February 15, 2019 4:55 pm
Updated: February 15, 2019 11:01 pm

It’s official — St. Paul’s is on the move in Vancouver

WATCH: Province announces plans for new St. Paul's Hospital

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The B.C. Government has announced the new St. Paul’s Hospital will be built near the Vancouver train station for $1.9 billion and the doors will open in 2026. The previous government had announced the more than 125-year-old hospital was going to have to move from its current location on Burrard Street in Vancouver’s west end.

“For over 125 years, people in Vancouver and across British Columbia have benefited from the health care provided by St. Paul’s Hospital,” Premier John Horgan said. “Today, we are safeguarding these life-saving services by taking action to build a brand new St. Paul’s Hospital that will serve more people and offer better access to the specialized care people need.”

WATCH: Province gives update on new St. Paul’s Hospital plans


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The original estimate was the hospital was going to open by 2022 at a cost of $1.2 billion. The hospital’s move has been controversial, with longtime NDP MLA Spencer Chandra expressing concerns in 2015 about the facility leaving the west end.

The new St. Paul’s facility will continue to have a full-service, acute-care hospital and integrated health campus. It will have a capacity for up to 548 beds, which includes 115 new beds. The site will be the home of several leading provincial programs and referral centres, including for heart and lung care, renal, eating disorders and specialty surgeries and transplants.

READ MORE: Vancouver hospital tries new treatment for overdose victims

“British Columbians have always expressed great confidence, and taken great comfort, in the care delivered by St. Paul’s. After more than a decade and a half of stalling, it is exciting to give the green light to a new, state-of-the-art St. Paul’s Hospital that will continue this legacy for many years to come,” Minister of Health Adrian Dix said.

“Our government has made it a priority to see this project move forward so that St. Paul’s continues to serve people around the province now and in the future.”

READ MORE: Why do we need a new St. Paul’s Hospital?

Global News launched a series in 2015 about why a new St. Paul’s Hospital was needed. The obvious concern was the aging infrastructure and a space built for services in the 1890s that are still being used more than 100 years later.

WATCH: A new St. Paul’s Hospital will be built in Vancouver by 2026

On a typical day in St. Paul’s emergency department, which is one of the busiest in the country, hundreds of patients are admitted — with some coming through several times a month.

Dr. Dan Kalla headed the emergency department at the hospital in 2015 and said at the time that dealing with recurrent patients is only one of the problems an aging St. Paul’s can’t solve.

WATCH (aired March 28, 2017): Jim Pattison donates millions to new St. Paul’s

“We’re one of the most efficient emergency departments in the country and we’re very proud of that,” Kalla says.

“But our physical plant is up to a 100 years old and our space is jury-rigged together. There’s no natural flow to it… No one in the 21st century would design an emergency like what we have now.”

The new hospital will offer general and specialized care, including HIV/AIDS, chronic disease management services, emergency and critical care, mental health and addictions beds and programs, ambulatory services and outpatient clinics, end-of-life care, Indigenous health, maternity, colorectal and gastrointestinal services, and community care and community outreach programs.

WATCH HERE (aired November 3, 2015): St Paul’s ER doctor on why the hospital needs to move

St. Paul’s will continue to be a teaching hospital, training hundreds of University of British Columbia medical students, British Columbia Institute of Technology nursing students and hundreds of other health-sector professions.

The province will use the money from the sale of the land where the hospital currently sits to help fund some of the new project. Jim Pattison, chairman and CEO of the Jim Pattison Group, has already donated $75 million to the future of St. Paul’s.

WATCH HERE (aired November 5, 2015): St. Paul’s: Looking to the future

“The new St. Paul’s at the Jim Pattison Medical Centre will establish a new standard for health care and for community building. The site offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a hospital that’s purpose-built to put people first,” Providence Health Care president Fiona Dalton said.

“A world-class facility for the 21st century that remains true to our core philosophies of compassion, social justice and innovation. It’s a place where the best and brightest will work together to heal the sick, collaborate on new discoveries and mentor the next generation of healthcare providers. It’s truly so much more than a hospital — it’s the beginning of a new era in health care for British Columbians.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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