St. Paul's Hospital to get $17-million overhaul
St. Paul's Hospital will get a $17.2-million upgrade to aging electrical infrastructure and elevators, Health Minister Michael de Jong said on Thursday.
Parts of the inner-city hospital are more than a century old, and conditions in older areas of St. Paul's were deemed "deplorable" in a recent leaked report from Providence Health, which runs the hospital.
A power outage last February plunged St. Paul's into total darkness for a few seconds before backup generators kicked in.
Providence president Dianne Doyle said the Health Ministry's new funding "sends a strong signal of commitment to staff, physicians, researchers, patients and the donor community [that works with] the hospital foundation."
Doyle said the elevator and electrical upgrades "are a crucial step in ensuring continued excellence and innovation in care delivery."
After the February power outage, the B.C. government said it would put $1 million toward short-term remediation until a "business case" for a permanent electrical upgrade could be made.
Now the hospital will get $12.5 million to replace items such as generators, transformers, automatic transfer switches, switch gears and other electrical components.
De Jong, who toured some of St. Paul's clinics Thursday, said the funding "will ensure that patients and their families will continue to receive world-class health care at St. Paul's Hospital until the redevelopment gets under way."
The notoriously slow elevator system at St. Paul's, which is between 20 and 40 years old, will get a $4.7-million upgrade.
Founded in 1894, St. Paul's is home to world-class clinics such as the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, run by Dr. Julio Montaner, and the Heart Centre, a complete cardiac-care program.
Providence and Vancouver Coastal Health have drawn up a complete renewal plan for St. Paul's that is under review by de Jong's ministry.