Burnaby Hospital is getting a $1.3-billion redevelopment, including two new towers and a new, expanded emergency department.
The project will see 400 new beds added to the facility, along with a new cancer treatment centre.
“It’s been 40 years since the last upgrade of this facility, and that’s way too long,” Premier John Horgan said on Tuesday.
“We can reduce wait times, we can make sure we have more MRIs, more surgeries, better urgent primary care . . . whoever provides services for people in Burnaby will be able to do it in a completely upgraded, modernized facility at this location.”
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Fraser Health president and CEO Dr. Victoria Lee said the redevelopment will leave the city with what amounts to a virtually new facility.
“The development will occur in phases in terms of investments that are made initially to build some new infrastructure, and then we will demolish some of the oldest infrastructure that currently exists,” she said.
“We’ll have essentially a new hospital in an existing site. The majority will be new and a small proportion that will be existing that will be updated.”
Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley said the healthcare needs of his city, the province’s third largest, have grown as the city expands.
“This is a great day for Burnaby,” said Hurley.
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“It’s been a long time coming, but we are here now and we look forward to moving this project along as quickly as possible.
According to the province, the completed project will see the ER expanded to 62 bays, up from the current 47.
It will also nearly double the number of operating rooms from the current five to nine.
The new facility will also have 18 new pre- and post-operative recovery spaces added.
Construction will begin in 2021 on the first new six-storey tower, which will have 78 beds, an upgraded mental health and substance use inpatient unit and a new maternity ward.
The first new tower is slated to open in 2023. Construction on the second tower is slated to begin in 2024 and wrap up by 2027.