The older buildings at Burnaby Hospital should be torn down and replaced and the heavily used facility should get an increase in funding to bring it up to the same level provided to other hospitals in the Fraser Health Authority, says a report obtained by CBC News.
The report, prompted by complaints from doctors about the spread of infections, and due to be released Friday, notes that the buildings in question are 60 years old and their dated design presents a health hazard.
"The design of the existing hospital has flaws that allow diseases such as C. difficile to spread rapidly within the patient population," says the report from a community consultation committee put together by Fraser Health.
"To repair any of the plumbing or electrical services in these old buildings requires that the entire service to the building be shut down."
The report said Burnaby Hospital now has the third-busiest emergency room in the province, with more than 70,000 visits a year, and other departments also are working far beyond their intended capacity.
"The Oncology Department, which was designed to serve 1,800 to 2,000 patients a year, now serves 10,000 patients per year," the report says.
The report stops short of recommending the hospital be closed and razed, saying much of the site can be made to work.
"We should not walk away from the newer buildings on the site as they are an asset that could be renovated to serve the hospital’s needs," the report says.
Authority 'thrown under the bus'
The committee also found a lack of funding equity for Burnaby Hospital, compared to other hospitals in the Fraser Health Authority.
"For example, the endoscopy department receives an allocation that is two-thirds less than other FHA hospitals," the report said.
B.C. NDP health critic Mike Farnworth said the report does not take the Liberal provincial government to task, but instead is "throwing Fraser Health under the bus."
"The framework with which this report was done was a very political one."
The report comes after months of controversy, including accusations that Liberal party insiders were using "sleazy tactics" to manipulate the findings of the community consultation committee.
The committee was formed last spring, after eight doctors issued a warning about the high number of C. difficile bacterial infections at the hospital.
The NDP at the time said a series of leaked e-mails showed committee members, with strong ties to the Liberals, had been ignoring public input.