Watch above: Officials say they’ve made progress restoring services at the Misericordia since the flooding on the weekend. However, it will likely be eight weeks until all services are back on site.
EDMONTON – Officials say they’ve made progress restoring services at the Misericordia since the hospital experienced flooding on the weekend. However, it will likely be eight weeks until all services are back on site.
Heavy rain caused a drain pipe to crack early on Saturday, July 5, which caused flooding in the areas for day surgery, endoscopy, cystoscopy and the MDRD sterile storage.
About 300 surgeries and procedures were put on hold while the damage was cleaned up.
Dr. Jeff Robinson says the hospital should be able to catch up on those within the next week or two. Most of the 126 surgeries have already been rescheduled.
“We’ve been able to come back and – through increasing some capacity in our operating rooms, adding some additional time to the existing slate, and bringing the staff in and the docs in – have really rebooked almost all of our procedures to get done in a pretty short period of time,” said Robinson, the vice president and chief medical officer of Covenant Health.
Some services have been moved to other hospitals or units.
The endoscopy team is at the University of Alberta Hospital and cystoscopy team will be at the Grey Nuns. The Misericordia has moved day surgery within the hospital to another unit.
“All the other hospitals in the Edmonton area have been very helpful,” said Robinson.
By using other hospitals and units, officials say the Misericordia will be fully operational next week. However, given the repair work that will be done, all services won’t be back at the Misericordia until the fall.
“We’ve got a vast majority of it back in place for next week,” said Robinson, “and provided that the renovations and reconstruction go according to plan, I think we’re very confident we’ll be back in place by September.”
He admits extreme weather situations can be stressful considering the hospital’s condition.
“We’re always a little anxious because of … the nature and the state of the building that we do worry about whenever we get a storm.”
Since last May’s flood, Robinson says improvement work has been done on an ongoing basis.
“We’ve been doing extensive work to see what type of activity and renovations and repair work needs to be done to make sure that the facility stays as functional as it possibly can.”
The PC government has been under fire for the state of the 45-year-old building. In February, the leader of the Alberta Liberal Party, Raj Sherman, called the conditions “third-world.”
The building was scheduled to be replaced, or at least rebuilt, six years ago. The emergency room treats twice the number of patients it was designed for, with close to 50,000 people a year walking through the doors, according to Covenant Health.
The health minister says nearly $20 million has been committed to bringing the hospital up to par, but adds more needs to be done.
“We’re growing at an alarming rate in Edmonton, we’re happy to see the growth, but obviously we need a health care capacity to go along with it,” Fred Horne said last Sunday. “So, replacement of the Mis? Absolutely. We have to replace the capacity here, but we need more than that, we need additional capacity, as well.”
Robinson is pleased the Misericordia is a priority because it needs to be.
“This building has got a few years left. We’re working hard to make sure we can provide the high level of care we’ve always been able to provide, but it does need to be replaced, and because it does take a good chunk of time to build a new facility we need to get started on that as soon as possible.”
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