ER, ladies's-health docs elevate the alarm about unsafe situations in B.C. hospitals

Well being Minister Adrian Dix is on the defensive after dozens of B.C. physicians have penned letters outlining unsafe situations in hospitals they are saying are placing sufferers in danger

Article content material

Well being Minister Adrian Dix is going through a “staggering” well being care disaster as dozens of physicians at 5 B.C. hospitals have come ahead to boost the alarm about unsafe situations they are saying are placing sufferers in danger.

Commercial 2

Article content material

The most recent open letter was from ladies’s well being suppliers at Surrey Memorial Hospital who say insufficient sources are compromising affected person care and have been an element within the loss of life of a new child child in 2020.

Article content material

One other letter from emergency room docs at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster and Eagle Ridge Hospital in Port Moody says a vital scarcity of hospitalists — the docs in command of admitting sufferers from the ER and taking care of them in hospital — has resulted in some sufferers ready within the emergency room for as much as 72 hours.

And one Nanaimo emergency room physician stated he’s seeing extra sufferers being admitted to hospital with no physician assigned, which suggests nobody is immediately managing their care.

Trevor Halford, B.C. United MLA for Surrey-White Rock, stated the rising refrain from involved physicians is “staggering.”

Commercial 3

Article content material

“It’s previous the tipping level,” he stated. “It’s an absolute disaster.”

Dix acknowledged busy hospitals corresponding to Surrey Memorial, Nanaimo Regional and Royal Inland have had a rise in sufferers in latest months, leaving them over capability.

“When the very, very busy days are day-after-day, that’s an enormous stress on everyone within the system,” he advised Postmedia Information on Tuesday. “And that’s what we’ve been seeing over time.”

An open letter launched Monday by 36 physicians in obstetrics and gynecology at Surrey Memorial Hospital stated the “vital shortage of sources has created systemic points compromising security for our sufferers,” and has “resulted in a single new child loss of life, numerous close to misses, and ethical harm to our care suppliers.”

Article content material

Commercial 4

Article content material

Dr. Claudine Storness-Bliss, an obstetrician and gynecologist and co-head of the division, advised Postmedia Information on Tuesday that she and her colleagues are mentally and emotionally drained as they attempt to cope with “acute conditions and never with the ability to deal with them in a well timed style due to the shortage of sources.”

“We proceed to maneuver mountains to do what we will to handle sufferers,” she stated. “However the variety of sufferers requiring care is quickly rising. We’re already falling quick and until we act as we speak, it’ll be a catastrophe throughout the subsequent few years.”

Picture of the exterior of Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey.
Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey. Photograph by Jason Payne /PNG

Fraser Well being CEO Dr. Victoria Lee confirmed that the well being authority launched a evaluate after a new child died in 2020. Whereas Lee couldn’t go into particulars about what induced the toddler’s loss of life, citing privateness guidelines, she stated the evaluate led to seven suggestions and an extra $3 million spent so as to add workers and assist providers to the household birthing unit.

Commercial 5

Article content material

Storness-Bliss stated that funding has not been sufficient to maintain up with demand and Surrey’s quickly rising inhabitants. For instance, the letter notes Surrey Memorial’s household birthing unit has half the variety of beds of comparable models in Vancouver.

“We’re placing out fires versus planning for the fires which can be coming,” she stated.

The obstetricians and gynecologists launched the letter to again up the issues from Surrey Memorial emergency room physicians. The ER docs stated in an open letter earlier this month a scarcity of physicians and acute beds have created “unsafe situations” which have induced “extreme opposed outcomes together with loss of life.”

Lee advised Postmedia Information after the letter was launched that nobody has died because of delays in care or a scarcity of beds.

Commercial 6

Article content material

On Tuesday, Lee acknowledged that “there’s frustration and challenges and presently” together with “delays in care, rising demand, stretching of present providers.” However she stated the well being authority is working to recruit workers to cope with that elevated demand.

A gaggle of physicians from Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster and Eagle Ridge Hospital in Port Moody added their voices final week with a letter slamming the federal government and Fraser Well being for failing to acknowledge the severity of the emergency division disaster.

“Our neighborhood is at a breaking level,” they wrote. “Wait instances have skyrocketed. Emergency departments are overcrowded. Sufferers are leaving with out being seen, regardless of searching for care.”

Commercial 7

Article content material

The dire scarcity of hospitalists — docs employed immediately by hospitals — means sufferers are ready as much as 72 hours within the ER earlier than being admitted, they wrote.

One Nanaimo emergency room physician advised Postmedia Information the “disaster” scarcity of hospitalists is resulting in sufferers being admitted to hospital with no physician assigned.

Dr. Chris Rumball, who has labored at Nanaimo Regional Basic Hospital since 2009, stated that more and more means sufferers “being handed from one emergency physician to the following. So not less than some doctor is aware of vaguely about their existence, however nobody is particularly immediately managing their in-patient care.”

Rumball has dubbed these “IOU sufferers” — inpatients orphaned and unassigned. Rumball, who has been practising for 47 years, is annoyed at seeing sufferers “languish in already overcrowded (emergency division) hallways. These are folks that we owe a regular of care and we’re not giving it to them.”

Commercial 8

Article content material

Dr. Joshua Greggain, president of Medical doctors of B.C., confirmed there’s been a rise in sufferers being admitted to hospital with no physician connected.

“That’s not a protected method to offer care,” he stated. Greggain stated whereas a scarcity of hospitalists is one issue placing stress on emergency departments, different components embrace the variety of folks coming to emergency rooms due to the opioid disaster, the psychological well being disaster and the scarcity of household docs.

Dix stated the Well being Ministry is working with hospitalists on a greater compensation mannequin, much like the deal made with household docs.

“What you need to do to enhance the system is you need to recruit extra (well being staff) and that’s what we’ve accomplished,” Dix stated.

Spring subscription sale: Our in-depth journalism is feasible due to the assist of our subscribers. For a restricted time, you will get full on-line entry to the Vancouver Solar and The Province, together with the Nationwide Publish and 13 different Canadian information websites, for simply $40 for one yr or $1 every week for 52 weeks. Help our journalism by subscribing as we speak: The Vancouver Solar.

Article content material


Postmedia is dedicated to sustaining a vigorous however civil discussion board for dialogue and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Feedback might take as much as an hour for moderation earlier than showing on the location. We ask you to maintain your feedback related and respectful. Now we have enabled e mail notifications—you’ll now obtain an e mail if you happen to obtain a reply to your remark, there’s an replace to a remark thread you observe or if a person you observe feedback. Go to our Group Pointers for extra info and particulars on how you can modify your e mail settings.

Be part of the Dialog

Commercial 1