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Richmond Hospital’s new tower to be bigger than originally planned, B.C. premier says

New tower at Richmond Hospital will be larger than planned
The B.C. government says the planned new tower for Richmond Hospital will be much larger than first planned.

A new tower at the Richmond hospital will be larger than initially planned, Premier John Horgan said Thursday.

Once completed, the new nine-storey tower will have almost 220 beds, bringing the hospital’s total to 350, up from its current 240.

The new tower will include a new emergency department, a fully-equipped medical imaging area, as well as health services including pediatrics and mental health facilities.

Read more: New hospital on the way for Surrey but shovels won’t be in the ground until 2021 at the earliest

“It’s clear that these expanded projects will mean more care for people over a longer period of time,” Horgan told reporters.

Surrey gets new hospital
Surrey gets new hospital

The NDP government first announced that a concept plan had been approved for a new tower at Richmond Hospital back in 2018, but Horgan said this plan is “far larger, far grander, far more ambitious.”

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The new concept plan would also see the existing South Tower renovated to create new inpatient psychiatry and psychiatric emergency units.

But Richmond-Queensborough BC Liberal MLA Jas Johal says he’s concerned about how the province plans to fund the bigger expansion, give the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have 350,000 unemployed in this province, we’re expecting three deficits in the coming years from the NDP government, so revenue is not where it used to be,” said Johal.

“For a government to make announcements today and say they’re going to spend millions and millions of dollars in the future — that’s all fine and good, but the revenue at this point has just gone off a cliff.”

Horgan said detailed business planning and budgeting for the new tower is expected to wrap in September, with the project moving to procurement and construction after that.

-With files from Robyn Crawford