Jim Pattison helps open Surrey's new $237M outpatient facility
The newest addition to Surrey's hospital system, the $237-million Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre, is officially open.
Health Minister Mike de Jong was in town Monday morning to do the honours and was joined by the man who lent his name - and opened his wallet - to the place. Also there for the ceremony were dignitaries from the hospital foundation and the health authority along with Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts.
The centre is the first of its kind in British Columbia, de Jong noted, and offers services not available elsewhere. He also thanked Pattison, who donated $5 million to purchase equipment, for his generosity before turning his attention to the staff and volunteers who made the whole thing possible.
"The soul of this outpatient facility is the people who have helped make it happen and the people who will provide the services," the minister told a crowd of about 100 gathered for the event.
Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation director Tracy Redies had some good news about the 100 Days to Give capital campaign for equipment. The foundation set out to match Pattison's donaton in a 100-day campaign. "We are delighted to tell you we have surpassed our $5-million goal," Redies said. "I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all the donors."
The $10 million raised by Pattison and other donors will be used to purchase specialized equipment for the centre in hopes of attracting leading doctors to Surrey.
The new centre is unique in that it offers diagnostic services like lab, X-ray, CT and MRI scans, biopsies, day surgery services and specialized medical programs all under the same roof.
The centre will offer services currently unavailable in Surrey, such as a breast health clinic to diagnose suspected cancer in 21 days or less, urology services including extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy to treat kidney and other stones without invasive surgery, the Fraser Valley's first comprehensive HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C clinic and more.
The centre will relieve pressure on Surrey Memorial which now handles nearly 134,000 outpatient visits per year and performs more than 94,000 outpatient diagnostic procedures. The majority of those cases will move to the new centre in Green Timbers.
The 188,000-square-foot building was built to Gold standard LEEDS design with six operating rooms and 10 procedure rooms. The structure allows for 30 per cent expansion when needed, has more than 600 parking spaces and easy transit access.
NDP MLA Jagrup Brar (Surrey-Fleetwood), however, took issue with the government's claim the centre was built "on time and on budget."
"That's not true. Their promise to the people of Surrey was that it would be finished in 2009, so they're two years late," Brar said. "Also, the original budget was $162 milllion. That rose to $237 million and that's a significant difference, so it's not on budget."
Brar also expressed concern medical staff will just be moved to the new centre from SMH and other facilities. "If we don't have new staff, we won't see any change in service delivery if all they're doing is shifting people from one place to another."