The “Real Story” — more than 1,200 hospital beds closed

News release

The Campbell Liberals have cut more than 1,200 hospital beds since 2001 according to their own numbers, says the Hospital Employees’ Union.

The information was released in response to the B.C. Liberal campaign’s so-called “real story on hospital facilities” announced earlier today in Abbotsford.

Under the Campbell Liberals, 1,279 hospital beds were closed between 2001 and 2004 — or 15 per cent of the total number of beds.

“The real story behind overcrowded emergency rooms and longer surgery waits is a government that has closed nearly one out of every seven hospital beds,” says HEU’s secretary-business manager Judy Darcy.

“And the situation has been compounded by massive cuts to long-term care beds which has put even more pressure on our hospitals.

“Virtually every B.C. community is paying the price for these health care cuts,” says Darcy.

The bed closure numbers were provided to the union last Fall by the Ministry of Health Services and compare statistics from fiscal years 2001/2002, 2002/2003 and 2003/2004. They include hospital bed numbers broken down by facility and by health authority.

The government has not yet released its hospital bed count for 2004/2005.

You can find the government document here .

Please note: Forensic Psychiatric Services and Riverview Hospital were transferred to the Provincial Health Services Authority from the Ministry of Health Services in 2002/2003 and 2003/2004 respectively. Since these are not new beds they are not part of the calculation of net bed losses.