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Surrey council paves way for hospital development

Zoning changes will allow fast-tracking work: Mayor Doug McCallum
New Surrey Hospital image
Surrey city council has approved zoning changes to fast-track construction of a second hospital near Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Surrey city council July 12 approved zoning bylaw changes to fast-track development of the new Surrey hospital and cancer centre.

An official community plan amendment changes the land designation from industrial to mixed employment, and with the corresponding rezoning, will allow for both the hospital and its supportive services.

“Surrey is rapidly growing, and in desperate need of a second hospital, so we are doing everything in our part to ensure the project is completed as soon as possible,” Mayor Doug McCallum said.

The city’s second hospital was announced in December 2019 with a move to a business-planning phase.

The state-of-the-art facility will be built in Cloverdale beside the Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU)campus and will have inpatient beds, an emergency department, operating rooms, laboratory and diagnostic services and outpatient services.

The business-plan phase finalizes details such as the project scope and budget for the new facility. Upon approval of that plan, the project will proceed to procurement and then construction. 

This hospital is part of work to deliver comprehensive health services including a new urgent and primary care centre, a new mental health and substance use urgent care response centre and a second MRI machine at Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre.

Cancer centre services are expected to include treatment, supportive care, research, education and innovative technologies, such as virtual health.

The hospital is needed to cope with Surrey’s rapid growth in recent years.

The Ministry of Health has projected Surrey could overtake Vancouver as the most populous city in the province by 2041.

The ministry said the business plan has been approved and the procurement is scheduled to start in the fall. 

Construction is expected to begin in 2023, with the hospital opening in 2027. The project capital budget is $1.66 billion and will be funded by the provincial government through Fraser Health, with potential fundraising opportunities by Surrey Hospitals Foundation and BC Cancer Foundation, the ministry said.

Clinic outpatient visits in Surrey are expected to increase from approximately 296,000 in 2016-17 to around 423,000 in 2026-27.

Emergency room visits in Surrey are expected to increase from approximately 153,000 in 2016-17 to around 221,000 in 2026-27.

Inpatient and outpatient surgeries in Surrey are expected to increase from approximately 47,000 in 2016-17 to around 63,000 in 2026-27.

A city planning and development report said the site is currently owned by KPU, which is proposing to subdivide the property into two lots. 

“The northern lot will continue to be owned and occupied by KPU for their Cloverdale campus, while the southern lot is intended to be sold to Fraser Health Authority (FHA) for the future site of the new Surrey Hospital and Cancer Centre,” the report said.