Growing Surrey population has B.C. government talking about a new hospital south of the Fraser

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      Surrey is B.C.'s second largest city, but it only has one acute-care health-care facility, Surrey Memorial Hospital.

      This sends some residents to Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster and Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock.

      But today, Health Minister Adrian Dix said that the B.C. government is "taking the first planning step" toward building a second hospital in Surrey.

      Flanked by NDP MLAs from Surrey and North Delta, Dix announced that the Ministry of Health and Fraser Health are funding a "concept plan".

      "We're going to tak a serious look, and that means meeting the needs of the people in Surrey," he said. 

      Surrey's population is over 500,000 and it covers 316 square kilometres. Surrey Memorial has the busiest emergency room in B.C.

      “The staff at Surrey Memorial Hospital do an incredible job in caring for our community, but they are clearly stretched," Surrey mayor Linda Hepner said in a government news release. "With the growth Surrey is experiencing, a new hospital is clearly needed if we are to ensure our residents have timely access to medical care and services.”

      Vancouver has a population of 650,000 over 114 square kilometres. It's getting a replacment for St. Paul's Hospital at False Creek Flats, which will complement Vancouver General Hospital, and Mount St. Joseph Hospital.