$1 million invested in St. Paul’s Hospital to treat short-term electrical problems

Spencer Chandra Herbert, Brent Granby and Sue Hammell

Yesterday afternoon as the Vice Chair of the Save St. Paul’s Coalition’s I joined MLA for Vancouver –West End Spencer Chandra Herbert and NDP Health Critic Sue Hammell, in front of St. Paul’s Hospital to speak with reporters about the electrical blackouts at the hospital.

On Saturday February 19 St. Paul’s Hospital was plunged into darkness for 10 seconds when the ageing power system failed before emergency backup generators could be started.

For more back ground information this incident visit the Save St. Paul’s Coalition website: SaveStPaul.ca

Since Saturday, the Hospital has been running on backup emergency electrical power which is generated on site. Non-medical staff have been asked to cut back on the use of non-medically necessary electrical devices to conserve power.

Tuesday’s media briefing was organized in an effort to highlight the policy failure of the lack of a proactive investment in the renewal of St. Paul’s Hospital has had the consequence of the failure of the main power supply of the hospital because of the aging electrical infrastructure of the buildings.

In response to the power outage situation at St. Paul’s Hospital yesterday Colin Hansen, the Minister of Health Services, has made an immediate allocation of $1 million to the hospital to help the it cope with the short term situation of the failure of the main power supply.

In an article in the Vancouver Sun, Providence Health Care spokeswoman Bonita Elliott was quoted as saying, “ the money will be used to develop a business case for a longer-term fix that would include two new generators and a permanent electrical cable.”

Link to the full Vancouver Sun article: Kim Pemberton article

While the $1 million allocation will be helpful in the short term to remediate the current situation of the lack of power and the reliance on old back up generators, this incident strongly underlines the need for renewal of the Hospital and for the urgent necessity of the government to make a capital investment in the hospital for the long term.
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