Province Newspaper editorial - Thursday, November 22, 2012
As Heartbeat, our eight-month series exploring the inner workings of St. Paul’s Hospital revealed, Vancouverites are fortunate to have such a remarkable place of healing in the downtown core.
But as the series, which ends today, also showed, now is the time for government — all of us, really — to get serious about healing and renewing that geriatric facility so that it can continue to serve current and future citizens.
While hospital and government officials are moving forward with a plan to upgrade St. Paul’s, we would add our voice to those who say we need to pick up the pace.
It’s been eight years since most of the hospital was declared to be at “extreme” risk in the event of a major earthquake. Not only would people in St. Paul’s be at risk, the loss of the hospital during a large quake, especially if bridges and other routes into the downtown core were out of service, would leave the large and rapidly growing population downtown without proper medical care.
The premier’s announcement in June endorsing the plan to rebuild St. Paul’s was short on details, especially funding. A newly created hospital board is moving ahead with more specific project plans for Victoria to consider. But the hospital is falling apart already, even without an earthquake.
It’s critical that St. Paul’s renewal proceed without delay to ensure adequate quality health care in the heart of the city.
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