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No fix planned, despite reports finding parts of Richmond Hospital won't survive a moderate quake

(iStock Photo)

RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) – A Richmond city councillor wants to know why Vancouver Coastal Health hasn’t done much to upgrade the city’s hospital, even though two reports find it would not withstand a moderate earthquake.

The health authority does not have a firm plan for bringing the buildings up to standard.

Two reports over the last ten years — one in 2005 and another in 2011 — both find the north tower at the hospital would not withstand a moderate earthquake.

Councillor Bill McNulty worries what will happen if Richmond doesn’t have anywhere to bring the injured.

“The hospital may not be there for us when the big one comes — if and when it does — and I think we need to act and be prepared in all aspects of it to protect our employees, our medical staff, our doctors and also the patients within it.”

A new north tower is on the health authority’s list.

Gavin Wilson with Vancouver Coastal Health says retrofitting the tower isn’t a good option. He says replacing the tower is a top priority.

“We’ve done some major seismic retrofitting work at Vancouver General Hospital recently. We have a tower at Lions Gate Hospital that needs to be replaced. So realistically, we can’t do all this work at once. We have to phase it in.”

He doesn’t know when construction could start on a new tower for Richmond’s hospital.