It was an emotionally-charged town hall meeting at the West End Community Centre Tuesday night over the planned closure of St. Paul’s Hospital in downtown Vancouver.
Many speakers, mostly seniors, fear the new 1.2 billion dollar facility, to be built near Main Street and Terminal Avenue, is too far away.
“There should be no moving of St. Paul’s”
“We need a new hospital, but we need to also save St. Paul’s.”
“We fall into this potentially dangerous future of being an underserved community.”
“Victoria better doing something about it, and keep it there, that’s all I got to say.”
The new False Creek Flats hospital will be less than 3 kilometers away, but residents fear it will leave the West End, Coal Harbour and Yaletown under-served.
So what does St. Paul’s hospital mean to Shelley Coppieters?
“My life, it’s basically my life.”
The cancer survivor and kidney dialysis patient says it will be a challenge getting to the new hospital, as she is on disability and cannot drive.
“It makes no sense to me why we couldn’t have two hospitals. I just don’t understand it. First of all, how are you going to transport people there, they already have Mt. St Joseph’s and they already have VGH, close enough into that area, there is nothing west of that, nothing.”
That sentiment echoed by dozens of other mostly elderly residents who packed into the West End Community Centre .
“You just cannot take our hospital, period.”