REALITY CHECK: St. Paul’s Hospital: 10 years of promises, still no action
Wednesday’s announcement at St. Paul’s Hospital is just the latest promise by the Liberals to finally fix the facility – a promise that goes back 10 years.
If this announcement sounds familiar, it’s because there have been similar commitments made going back to 2002.
St. Paul’s Timeline
- 2002: Providence Health Care announces its plans for the ‘Providence Legacy Project,’ centering around the expansion and redevelopment of St. Paul’s Hospital. The redevelopment and expansion of St. Paul’s Hospital was used to justify the closure of St. Vincent’s Hospital. (Vancouver Sun, April 23, 2002)
- Nov. 16, 2005: In the legislature, then Health Minister George Abbott said: “Yes the province did support the planning that has been undertaken (on St. Paul’s) and the subsequent development of a business case. The planning is still underway as I've noted, so, of course, the business case is still in development. I can't speak to what stage in development it may be.”
- May 26, 2010: In the legislature, the Health Minister Kevin Falcon said: “I can tell the member that we are absolutely committed to moving forward on working with St. Paul's on the preparation of a business case that could flesh out some of the ideas and the innovation that Providence has brought forward.”
- Feb. 2, 2011: The B.C. Ministry of Health receives a 190-page draft concept plan entitled ‘St. Paul's Hospital Renewal Concept Plan.’ The plan estimated costs at $450 - $610 million. The resulting plan calls for the renewal to be phased in from 2014 to 2020. (Vancouver Sun, Feb. 17, 2011)
- May 25, 2011: In the legislature, Health Minister De Jong said: “…investment at St. Paul's has not disappeared or dried up. There is a concept plan.”
New Democrat health critic Mike Farnworth: “This is the second day in a row the Liberals have made promises to fix health care facilities, and British Columbians have a right to be skeptical. They’ve been promising upgrades to hospitals like this one, like Royal Columbian and like Surrey Memorial, for years. British Columbians need a comprehensive plan to fix aging infrastructure, not one-off announcements made for political gain.”
Vancouver – West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert: “In 2010, the Liberals promised that they'd work with St. Paul's on developing a business case which is the last step before redevelopment. Here we are two years later, and the Minister is breaking his government’s word and taking a step back from redevelopment by promising a concept plan before a business case, a concept plan Providence already gave the government over a year ago. My concern – and it continues today – is that the Liberals are making these announcements to save their own political skin without any real plan of following through.”