Last year the Surrey Hospitals Foundation launched an awareness campaign entitled Now Leaving Surrey about the historical discrepancies in healthcare funding and the availability of population-based, specialized, medical care for residents of Surrey and south of the Fraser River. The advertising campaign was accompanied by ongoing dialogue with stakeholders, including Government.
The awareness campaign was non-partisan and was intended to contribute to a public dialogue that would result in a change to short-, mid- and long-term planning and investment in Surrey’s healthcare infrastructure and services. The Foundation was one of many organizations participating in the public discourse. Participants ranged from business organizations and government to health providers and patients.
It was exciting to be part of purposeful, community action with a common and noble goal: better healthcare. The Foundation’s activities culminated in a Health Summit on May 30, 2023. The Summit resulted in five recommendations, including a recommendation to create a short-term plan to address urgent needs and a recommendation to fund a long-term, evidence-based clinical plan.
On June 7, 2023, there was a surprising and welcome announcement from the province’s Health Minister, Adrian Dix.
In response to public dialogue, the Government acknowledged that Surrey played a critical role in the health ecosystem south of the Fraser and that Surrey Memorial Hospital needed immediate, short- and mid-term investment. The short- and mid-term investments were detailed in a 30-point plan. The Government also announced that they would fund a population-based, clinical service planning process that would identify future needs. This plan would direct investment to right size healthcare for Surrey.
The Foundation is supportive of the new patient services that the 30-point plan will bring to Surrey. We are also optimistic that the outcome of the clinical service plan will support significant longer term investment in both people and infrastructure, perhaps even a tower to house these expanding and new services.
We respect and recognize that many other individuals and organizations will continue to engage in public dialogue with the Government on the need for more services for Surrey.
We believe that Surrey residents and all residents south of the Fraser must receive equitable care and that healthcare and all investment should be population- and need-based. The Foundation intends to contribute to that objective by financially supporting the expansion of services announced in the 30-point plan and the construction of the New Surrey Hospital.
We will work hard alongside all stakeholders for the new cath labs, the robotics program, new cancer services and many new medical offerings to reach our city as soon as possible. Surrey Hospitals Foundation is committed to meeting our mandate, and we will focus on raising funds for the urgent healthcare needs of our community.