The BC NDP have made an election platform promise of opening a medical school at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus.
If realized, it would be the second medical school in British Columbia, after the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine.
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The new medical school will train more doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, and public health professionals. It will be located within a central facility at the SFU Surrey campus, with learning centres distributed across the Fraser Health Authority. UBC’s medical school operates similarly as well, with a central hub at the UBC Vancouver campus and learning facilities across the Vancouver Coastal Health network, including Vancouver General Hospital.
“COVID-19 has driven home just how important the people who work in our health care system are to our safety and security,” said BC NDP leader John Horgan in a statement.
“A new medical school will ensure we are training and graduating the next generation of health heroes to work right here in British Columbia. It will give more opportunities for young people to achieve their dreams in the fastest-growing part of our province.”
The party says the first graduating class could be 2023-2024.
Over the medium and longer term, there are major plans by SFU to expand its Surrey campus to include not only more academic and research space but also student housing and amenities.
Additionally, both the BC NDP and BC Liberals have made varying promises to fulfill Surrey’s second hospital in Cloverdale to help address the growing needs of the South of Fraser population and the challenges of its large geography.