Our View: Need for new hospital is obvious

A new hospital – whether in Cloverdale or Langley – would serve a lot of local residents.

New hospitals in Metro Vancouver are rare beasts.

In recent years, we’ve seen a major upgrade to Langley Memorial Hospital’s maternity ward, and a planned expansion of the ER is expected soon.

But the bulk of the hospital dates back decades, as do hospitals in Surrey, White Rock, and Maple Ridge.

Surrey’s drive to bring a new hospital to Cloverdale deserves attention – and support.

The South of the Fraser region is growing like dandelions in spring. Langley is likely to add more than 50,000 new residents to its western neighbourhoods in the next two or three decades – and those are conservative estimates. Surrey is growing too, including neighbourhoods like Clayton Heights, which run right up to Langley’s border.

We are already in need of a new regional hospital. And that need will only grow with each passing year.

A new hospital in Cloverdale would put more medical care within reach of more than 100,000 residents. It’s also an opportunity to add specialty care, putting teams of dedicated doctors at Langley, Cloverdale, or Surrey for specific types of operations.

Finally, if a hospital is built in Cloverdale, it would be a good time to reconsider adding a trauma centre. At present, serious accident victims in Langley and Surrey must make the journey east to Abbotsford, or across the river to Royal Columbian Hospital.

It’s important that Langley residents make their voices heard in this debate. Just because a hospital is just over the municipal border doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be good for Langley.

– M.C.

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