Shane Woodford | Email news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org
CKNW has obtained a controversial report painting a damning picture of Burnaby hospital's ability to meet the needs of its patients.
The 141 page document by a citizens committee chaired by BC Liberal MLA Harry Bloy makes the case for replacing many of the hospital's buildings.
The report says the busy hospital has only 289 beds to Surrey Memorial's 606 despite serving roughly the same population base of just under half a million people.
It says by design and age the buildings are also conduits for infection, especially C-Difficile, which the report says has claimed at least 84 lives from 2009 to 2011.
It also says Worksafe BC is so concerned about the hospital's electrical system it banned the lighting of the annual Christmas tree.
The report says despite being the third busiest hospital in BC and leading Fraser Health in knee and hip replacements, funding is well short of others in the Fraser Health Authority.
For example the report cites the $18 million operating room budget at Surrey Memorial hospital compared to just $9 million in Burnaby.
Leaked emails appeared to show Liberal MLA's and insiders stacked the committee in an effort to use the hospital as a political wedge issue against the NDP.
In introductions by the reports authors, including Liberal Harry Bloy, and former Liberal Burnaby Edmonds riding president Pamela Gardner, they say the effort was genuine and not funded using public dollars.
The NDP's Health critic is writing off the report into Burnaby hospital saying it was political games from the Liberals from the start.
Mike Farnworth says emails leaked from the citizens committee tell a story of deflecting blame away from the Liberal government.
"In the original emails it talks about shifting the blame or making sure the blame falls on Fraser Health as opposed to the government and clearly that is what this report does it throws the Fraser Health Authority under the bus. There are lots of problems at Burnaby hospital that is nothing new in that sense this report just confirms what many people already know and have been saying about Burnaby for a long long time."
Farnworth also doubts there were zero taxpayer dollars used despite what the committee states in its report.
"When they say no tax dollars were used well I am quite sure they didn't go to the Burnaby Firefighters or the Italian Cultural centre and say oh we are doing a very political report to determine whether or not Burnaby hospital is a vote determining issue that will help us win Burnaby Deer Lake because if they had have done I am quite sure they wouldn't have been able to raise any money."
Farnworth also thinks the report was reworked after leaked emails from liberals on the committee ended up in the hands of reporters.