"Health Minister Adrian Dix and health authority bureaucracies have mismanaged our healthcare system for far too long, and the public is paying the price. Thanks to the courageous actions of whistleblowers, we know that there has been one newborn death and ‘countless near misses’ at Surrey Memorial Hospital. Minister Dix cannot say that everything is fine when it is so obviously not. It’s time for the B.C. NDP government and health authorities to acknowledge that this is an outright crisis and to take accountability for their mismanagement and dysfunction."
- BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau
Continue reading Sonia's remarks and those of other BC Greens here.
BC Greens calling for critical reappraisal of the health-authority governance model to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy and put healthcare workers at the forefront of decisions which affect the health of British Columbians.
The building crisis
May 8: Dr. Jeff Plante issued a memo to colleagues across the Lower Mainland advising patients to avoid Langley Memorial Hospital, because the facility's "situation is dire and near catastrophic."
May 10: Doctors of BC published a press release saying that emergency departments hospitals across BC were "at red alert". "Too many patients, including those with serious medical conditions, are being warehoused in emergency rooms for 24 to 48 hours."
May 15: ER doctors at Surrey Memorial wrote in a letter that the hospital was experiencing "unsafe conditions", and that health leadership and elected officials had failed to prevent or solve the current crisis.
May 23: Dr. Urbain Ip, a clinical assistant professor at UBC’s Department of Emergency Medicine and the former medical director of Surrey Memorial Hospital, said that problems at the hospital had "escalated this crisis to a boiling point."
May 25: Doctors at Surrey Memorial cited “substandard conditions” and “unacceptable care delays to admission” leading to adverse health outcomes in patient notes.
May 29: 36 OBGYNs at Surrey Memorial Hospital released a letter explaining that "The strain on our resources prevents our team from delivering care that is required and expected, directly resulting in poor outcomes which fall sharply below the standard for a tertiary level maternity care centre in our province." "This mismatch in resources has resulted in one newborn death, countless near misses and moral injury to our care providers."
May 30: Doctors at Surrey Memorial Hospital penned a letter highlighting the hospital’s “perilous conditions”, which have resulted in “preventable deaths rising in [the] overcrowded and understaffed ER.” Doctors felt “compelled to inform the public of the unsafe conditions that exist in our hospital, and the lack of communication about this crisis to patients and public.” (See more coverage by CTV News)
June 2: Global News reported that physicians across the country are warning Canadians that hospital conditions will lead to extremely high wait times in emergency rooms. The impact may be felt most acutely in rural communities because of an influx of people on holidays.