A regional cancer treatment centre will be included in Surrey’s planned second hospital.
On Thursday (Aug. 6), Premier John Horgan announced the centre, which will also treat patients in the surrounding areas, will be included in the Cloverdale hospital.
“Nothing is more important than the health of your family, and for people dealing with cancer, having access to treatment close to home is especially welcome,” said Horgan during the announcement in Cloverdale.
“The cancer centre at the new Surrey Hospital will deliver high quality, comprehensive and compassionate cancer care services for patients and their families in their fast-growing community.”
Horgan, who is a bladder cancer survivor, added that half of British Columbians “will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime,” and many of those cases willl be right here in Fraser Health.”
Dr. Kim Nguyen Chi, the vice-president and chief medical officer with BC Cancer, said that while Surrey is one of the fastest-growing community in Canada, the incidences of cancer will continue to grow.
“By 2027, it expected that it will be a 50-per-cent increase and the number of people being diagnosed with cancer in the Fraser Health region, this will represent one-in-three of all the new cancers that are diagnosed across B.C.,” said Chi, adding this new facility will help to “meet this rising need.”
Chi said it will facilitate “the transformation of cancer (care) to a more patient-centered approach by focusing care around the patient, with team-based care, multi-disciplinary clinics and enhanced digital health facilities.”
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Chi said “the burden of cancer on our patients has not stopped and cancer care has continued throughout the province” with an increased use of digital and virtual healthcare to adapt.
He added that the Cloverdale facility will be “designed to optimize digital tools to deliver care more effectively, safely and conveniently for our patients.”
According to the province, the facility will include services such as treatment, supportive care, research, education and innovative technologies like virtual health.
It will be the province’s seventh regional cancer centre, with existing facilities in Surrey Memorial Hospital, Abbotsford, Vancouver, Kelowna, Prince George and Victoria.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said that while the provincial government has announced new hospitals throughout B.C., Surrey was “unique.”
“It wasn’t replacing a hospital or adding to an existing hospital to all those hospitals that had been built in the ‘50s and ‘60s,” said Dix. “But the new Surrey hospital was going to be a new hospital in a new site, meeting the demands of the fastest-growing community, the most dynamic, the youngest community in B.C., which was Surrey.
“But what was unique and what we learned in that process, was the fact that Surrey, while the youngest now was also going to have the largest increase in the number of people with cancer in B.C. and that this was an opportunity to fully integrate a new cancer centre into a new hospital in a way that we hadn’t done before. It was an extraordinary opportunity.”
Dix added Thursday’s announcement was “one of the most significant health-care projects of this century” to be announced in B.C.
The province first announced the plan for Surrey’s second hospital in December 2019. It will be built next to the Kwantlen Polytechnic University campus in Cloverdale.