We’re shaking our heads after Fraser Health Authority decided to close 80 acute care hospital beds in the Fraser Valley.
This is a region experiencing explosive growth. Surrey alone takes in 1,200 new residents each month. Patients of Surrey Memorial Hospital and Peace Arch Hospital are among those affected.
Fraser Health says the rationale for this closure is its plan to expand community and home-based programs. Expanding community and home-based programs is a good idea in an area of rapid growth. But one doesn’t have to be a brain surgeon to understand that this should be done in addition to what acute care beds we already have, not at their expense.
Tuesday’s provincial budget earmarks $2.9 billion for health care projects. Surely there should be enough money in that to save these 80 beds from the axe?
Sue Hammell, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, notes that SMH alone is already 89 patients over capacity and she considers the closure of these 80 hospital beds to be “very disrespectful at a very deep level.”
We wholeheartedly agree.
And that it’s happening as the government is raising medical service plan premiums just adds salt to the wound.