Richmond Hospital redevelopment price tag doubles

The B.C. government says the price for redeveloping Richmond Hospital is now more than double what was set out in initial estimates.

In a news release Tuesday, the Ministry of Health said, “The total project cost is $1.959 billion, an increase of $1.1 billion since the business plan [was] developed in 2020.”

“Our government made a commitment to people in Richmond to ensure there are modern, high-quality health-care services in place now and into the future,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. 

Dix referenced the request for a new “seismically safe” patient care tower as part of the announcement, saying, “it signifies the progression of the redevelopment project in the right direction.”

BC United MLA for Richmond North Centre, Teresa Wat told CityNews sister station OMNI News she wasn’t surprised to learn that estimates had changed. 

“This government is always trying to hide the facts from British Columbians,” said Wat.

“They never adjusted the service plan for the cost, [meaning] the budget deficit will go up way high. That’s why I think they deliberately do not reflect the actual figures, and just want to show British Columbians that they are doing a good job — and they are not.”

Wat says she brought up her concerns during the budget estimate debate in February, but the health minister and the premier “just ignored” her question.

The province said redeveloping Richmond Hospital will add 113 more hospital beds, and three operating rooms, among other improvements.

The B.C. government will share the new $1.959 billion cost with Vancouver Coastal Health and the Richmond Hospital Foundation, contributing $30 million and $40 million respectively.

The province said Phase 2 of construction is expected to start in early 2026, and will be complete in late 2029.

—With files from Michael Williams, Srushti Gangdev and OMNI News