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Some Metro Vancouver hospitals are resorting to portables and momentary buildings to accommodate overflow sufferers as a result of overcrowded emergency rooms.
Surrey Memorial Hospital has arrange portables as a short lived pediatric emergency ready space in anticipation of a surge in sufferers this winter. Mount Saint Joseph Hospital in Vancouver has erected a brand new enclosed house close to the emergency room entrance as a make-shift extension to the ER.
It’s a sign that well being officers are bracing for an inflow of sufferers throughout this 12 months’s chilly and flu season.
Throughout a media briefing on the B.C.’s influenza season, provincial well being officer Dr. Bonnie Henry stated, “Pediatric emergency division visits are regularly rising.”
Well being Minister Adrian Dix stated this 12 months’s chilly and flu season might be worse than final 12 months, which noticed the loss of life of six kids from flu-related sickness.
“Final 12 months, we had very excessive ranges of hospitalizations. This 12 months, they’re larger,” Dix stated in the course of the briefing. “We’ve been caring for 337 extra sufferers per day than we did throughout the identical interval final 12 months.”
Dix stated including an overflow ready room at Surrey Memorial Hospital is without doubt one of the 30 measures to take care of overcrowding on the hospital, introduced by the province after a number of medical doctors raised the alarm about unsafe situations.
“It’s getting ready for respiratory season and making an attempt to make it simpler for people who find themselves ready in an emergency room,” he stated.
Martha Cloutier, executive-director at Surrey Memorial Hospital, stated the overflow rooms are getting used for infants and kids as a result of they arrive to the hospital with both one or each caregivers and typically siblings, who then require extra room. Sufferers nonetheless come into the emergency room to be triaged, however are despatched to the portables — that are staffed by nurses and positioned simply exterior the principle doorways — if they’re going through an extended wait.
Cloutier stated that is the primary time portables have been utilized in Fraser Well being. There are not any instant plans to implement portables at different hospitals, she stated.
The momentary buildings will not be but operational and gained’t be prepared till the tip of November, Cloutier stated.
Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke stated it’s “unhappy” and “unlucky” that Surrey Memorial has resorted to utilizing portables.
Locke stated the province has not dedicated to constructing one other tower at Surrey Memorial Hospital regardless of overcrowding on the hospital turning into “completely untenable.”
She famous that Surrey’s second hospital — funded by the province at a price of $2.88 billion — gained’t have the ability to deal with sufferers till 2030. Building is about to be full by 2029, two years not on time.
Locke is satisfied the portables is not going to be a short lived repair, however will grow to be the de facto overflow resolution.
“They stated college portables had been going to be momentary,” Locke stated, pointing to the inflow of portables within the Surrey college district, which now depends on 375 portables to deal with overcrowding.
“Three many years later, we’ve solely seen them multiply. So I’m very involved about that.”
Elenore Sturko, B.C. United MLA for Surrey South, stated the momentary ready rooms are a symptom of a well being system reaching its breaking level.
“It’s not simply the momentary pediatrics unit. Each single unit in our hospital is nearly on the breaking level,” she instructed reporters in Victoria on Wednesday. “We’ve heard from medical doctors that persons are being stored in hallways. They’re not delivering the care they really feel is acceptable for the sufferers coming in. We’ve had guarantees from Minister Dix, however little or no has modified on the bottom in Surrey.”
Well being care advocate Camille Currie, who lives in Langford, stated she skilled first-hand emergency room overcrowding at Victoria Common Hospital on Thursday when she waited 9 hours to get take care of her immune-compromised teenage son.
Currie, who based B.C. Well being Care Issues which has been calling for a repair to the scarcity of household medical doctors, stated she resorted to the emergency room as a result of she couldn’t instantly get in to see her household physician or get an appointment at an pressing major care centre which have been touted by Dix as a means for individuals to entry major care.
“It was standing room solely,” she stated. “Nurses had been truly having to come back out and inform individuals who weren’t sufferers that they couldn’t sit within the chairs.”
Currie stated she was annoyed to see many sufferers who, like her son, might have been seen by a physician in a major care setting however, due to lack of entry, had no alternative however to go to the ER.
“It’s at all times very worrying for us to determine whether or not to go and sit in these environments,” she stated. “I don’t need to be an extra burden on the system, however now we have to make the fitting decisions to guard our kids.”
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