Nurses criticize cut in pediatric beds at Abbotsford hospital

Reallocation for adult use may mean long-distance transfers of kids: union

Unionized nurses are concerned about the redesignation of children's beds at Abbotsford Regional Hospital

Unionized nurses are warning the redesignation of some beds at Abbotsford Regional Hospital may result in children there being transferred to other hospitals across the region instead of being treated at home.

The Fraser Health Authority is converting eight beds used for pediatric daycare surgery at Abbotsford so they can be used for adult use to relieve congestion.

The BC Nurses’ Union says the change means kids that end up in Abbotsford hospital will either be crammed in with other patients – possibly facing longer waits – or transferred, potentially to Langley, Surrey or Royal Columbian hospitals.

Linda PipeBCNU Fraser Valley regional chair Linda Pipe said it’s not always appropriate to mix adult and children.

The hospital has the only pediatrics department in the Fraser East region, and BCNU reps say kids from places like Chilliwack or Hope may end up being treated in Surrey.

Fraser Health officials say the reallocation of underused pediatric beds to adult use is temporary and would be reversed if the need for them increases.

They said 12 dedicated pediatric beds remain available at Abbotsford as well as six overflow beds when required.

“We are not going to compromise the care and service to our child population in favour of adults – that’s not at all the objective here,” said spokesperson Tasleem Juma.

She said the aim is to turn the converted unit into a flexible space that can handle either adult or child needs.

“The switch back to pediatric can be done fairly easily.”

The union disputes the health authority’s claim that the change is temporary, pointing out renovations are underway at significant cost.

“When you spend $500,000 on renovations that doesn’t sound too temporary to me,” Pipe said. “Or if it is temporary it’s a waste of money.”

She said impacts are already being felt from the conversion, which is in progress.

“The last two weeks they had three pediatric patients waiting in the emergency department for 12 hours because the pediatric department was full and the adults did not get moved out.”

The issue was raised at a Family Day event staged by the BCNU Monday at Abbotsford hospital.

– with files from CTV

Just Posted

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

CRA scam the email edition targeted the Mounties in Chilliwack

Fraudsters claim to be from the Canada Revenue Agency but the CRA never operates this way

COLUMN: Student voices give me hope for the future

Student Caleb Pennington wanted to know why something was taken off the agenda. So he asked.

Chilliwack newcomers celebrate multicultural community

Local Immigration Partnership helping new Canadians and refugees settle into new life

VIDEO: Rubik’s Rumble a hit at Chilliwack middle school

Students fill gymnasium for first annual tournament focusing on popular puzzle toy

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

VIDEO: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

B.C. man to plead guilty in connection with hit-and-run that killed teen

Jason Gourlay charged with failure to stop at the scene of accident, attempting to obstruct justice

Most Read