Abbotsford mayor says hospital needs to be expanded

Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre has operated at more than 115% capacity for years

Abbotsford’s hospital needs to be expanded to keep up with an expanding population, the city’s mayor said Thursday amidst a warning from local surgeons that serious operations were being delayed because of a lack of capacity.

Abbotsford Regional Hospital (ARH) and Cancer Centre has operated at more than 115 per cent capacity for years. It and Chilliwack General Hospital have been the province’s most overbooked large hospitals, according to government statistics obtained by The News.

RELATED: Abbotsford cancer patients face surgery delays so out-of-town doctors can perform hip/knee operations at ARH

RELATED: FULL HOUSE: More people, more patients, but ARH beds remain below 2013 levels

And although Abbotsford has been adding just over 2,000 more residents each year, the hospital has fewer acute-care beds than five years ago.

Last month, Health Minister Adrian Dix admitted that ARH has “extraordinary challenges.”

Asked Thursday about the situation at the hospital, Mayor Henry Braun said he regularly hears complaints about Abbotsford Regional Hospital, which opened to fanfare in 2008.

“This hospital needs to be expanded, with the growth that’s happening not just in Abbotsford but in the region,” he said. “We need to improve health care and access to health care, not the opposite.”

Braun said he understands that there is competition for government money, but that the health-care needs of Abbotsford are pervasive.

“It’s not just our hospital. We have 700 residential care beds that do not meet provincial standards and we’re 300 short, so that’s 1,000 units for our seniors.”

The two issues are linked, because many patients in hospital beds are waiting for care that could be delivered in the community – frequently in residential care facilities.

Health care falls under the province’s jurisdiction and Braun said he has raised the issue in the past. In mid-October, more than 30 local surgeons and anesthesiologists sent a letter to Dix, saying that the government’s focus on speeding up joint operations was bumping local patients down the surgical queue at ARH.

Braun said he hadn’t been aware of the letter before last week, but that he would broach the topic when he and Dix cross paths at a meeting later this month.

“I intend to raise this and a few other things that we have to fix,” he said.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
tolsen@abbynews.com


@ty_olsen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Chilliwack Chiefs take out shorthanded Trail Smoke Eaters in Sunday BCHL battle

Tommy Lyons and Kyle Penney scored two goals apiece as the Chiefs won their third straight game.

Cowboy Christmas brings classic Dickens tale with a cowboy twist to Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Ebenezer Scrooge meets the Wild West in a Christmas Carol story like no other on Dec. 19 in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Rotary Christmas Parade rolls through downtown Chilliwack

Thousands of kids and adults gathered Saturday night for Chilliwack’s annual Christmas Parade

VIDEO: Christmas Gifts Expo on now at Chilliwack Heritage Park

The annual festive expo features 260 local artisans and small mom-and-pop businesses

SUV on fire on Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack

Emergency crews on scene and blocking the right lane

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Four men in hospital after early morning Vancouver stabbing

A large group of men was seen fighting in Yaletwon

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were women

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Most Read