New St. Paul’s Hospital gets green light from provincial government

VANCOUVER – The British Columbia government says the replacement of St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver can move forward, following the launch of a business plan for the $1.9-billion project.

The new hospital will be built by 2026 with construction scheduled to begin next year.

The province is committing the cash needed to move ahead with a replacement — although the price tag is about 700 million dollars higher than a projection from the preceding government back in 2015.

“Why the shifting numbers is that for 17 years, from 2002 to today, the scope and scale of the project has been shifting,” Horgan adds.

Horgan says the plan for the new hospital had stalled for 12 years, but the wait is over with the approval of a business plan for construction.

The new St. Paul’s will be located near Main street and Terminal next to Pacific Central station and will have a capacity of 548 beds, 115 more than in the previous hospital.

“The plan that we inherited was several hundred million dollars shy of what was required and many, many beds short of what was needed to meet the need in the community,” says Horgan.

The project will be funded with the provincial government and Providence Health Care sharing costs, and B.C. businessman Jim Pattison has already donated $75 million to the new hospital.

The property where the current St. Paul’s hospital stands in downtown Vancouver will also be sold to fund part of the project.

But not everyone is happy with the news, Gaurav Mehra with the Greater Yaletown Community Association is especially concerned for seniors.

“If there’s a way for them to potentially figure out a way to keep a small emergency room but move everything else to the False Creek Flats that would be better in my opinion,” Mehra adds, noting it’s going to take seniors a lot longer to get to the emergency room.

Mehra does appreciate the new Urgent Primary Care Centre set up downtown, but feels it doesn’t make up for the lack of an emergency room.

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