SFU medical school opening delayed

It will be a couple of more years until a new medical school opens at Simon Fraser University (SFU), according to B.C.’s premier.

David Eby provided an update on the school Monday, saying it will be open in 2026.

“When the new SFU medical school is up and running, this will be the first new medical school in western Canada in 50 years,” the premier said.

Eby says Dr. Roger Strasser has been hired as interim dean. He was the founding dean and CEO of the Northern Ontario school of medicine.

The province will also be providing $4.9 million in startup funding, building on a $1.5 million provincial investment earlier in the year.

“Taken together with the expansion of seats at UBC, this will mean important new capacity at universities in British Columbia to train the doctors of tomorrow. As we take immediate steps to make sure that the doctors that are here today can practice in our hospitals and communities across the province,” Eby said.

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The medical school was a platform promise by the BC NDP in 2020. The party had initially suggested new graduates would be coming out of the school as early as 2024.

Health critic for the BC Liberals, Shirley Bond, says the delay is “devastating news” during a healthcare crisis.

“The NDP’s decade-long wait from announcement to new doctors is completely unacceptable and yet another broken promise,” she said in a statement.

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