June 19, 2014 1:47 am

Nurses at Surrey hospital claim new tower hasn’t fixed overflowing ER room

New emergency department entrance at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Roger Hope/Global News

The B.C. Nurses’ Union says Surrey Memorial Hospital is in crisis, despite the recent opening of a new critical care tower and emergency department.

The tower has been in operation since June 1 and celebrated its official opening on June 16. But according to the BCNU, the emergency room is still overflowing with patients.

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“Fraser Health has repeatedly stated the new tower and additional beds will alleviate overcrowding,” said BCNU President Debra McPherson in a statement. “But patients are still not getting safe care. In fact, patients have almost died on a number of occasions, while waiting to see a doctor or be admitted.”

Fraser Health Authority has been under a government-directed review since fall 2013.

The hospital said they are doing everything they can to deal with the growing number of patients.

“Over the past number of years, the population of Surrey has expanded, and at the same time we get significant surges,” explained Lakh Bagri, interim executive director for Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Bagri said the expansion has helped alleviate congestion, but there are sometimes unexpected rushes of people.

The new facilities were part of an overall expansion costing $512 million. It added 151 beds, expanding the hospital’s capacity by 30 per cent.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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