AN expanded emergency department at Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre officially opened today (June 8).
The region includes Abbotsford, Mission, Agassiz/Harrison, Chilliwack and Hope.
“People living in eastern Fraser Valley communities have been managing with an emergency department in the hospital that is over capacity and continually congested,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Our government took action to remedy this and today, the new expanded emergency department will provide patients with timely emergency care in a modern space with state-of-the-art technology, and health-care workers will have the space they need to provide quality care to patients.”
The expanded emergency department has improved staff and patient movement and provides quality emergency care in spaces that maximize privacy and improve infection control. The new space includes capacity for three new trauma bays, 11 new patient exam rooms, a dedicated mental health and substance-use zone, and a renovated triage area that includes one new patient exam room.
There were also renovations to vacated space near the mental health and substance-use inpatient area to accommodate relocation of the psychiatric clinical decision unit.
The new space allows staff to better identify and co-ordinate care for patients with a redesigned registration and triage area that provides increased privacy. This includes additional lounge areas and bathrooms, and a designated registration desk for emergency health services, such as ambulances.
“Our government understands that to ensure people have fast access to emergency health-care services, the work was needed at Abbotsford hospital,” said Pam Alexis, MLA for Abbotsford-Mission. “It’s exciting that we are now at the official opening of the expanded space.”
Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission, said: “Health-care workers and people in the region deserve to have modern health-care facilities. With the official opening of the expanded emergency department at the hospital in Abbotsford, they will also have the space they need during what can be a time of great stress.”
Total cost of the project is $16.25 million: $15 million is funded by the provincial government through Fraser Health, and $1.25 million by the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation.
Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, noted: “For too long, people experiencing mental health emergencies have not been able to access the services they desperately need. That is why the dedicated mental health and substance-use zone in the new Abbotsford Regional Emergency department is so important. We are building a system where treatment for mental health is on par with any other health condition, and I’m grateful to everyone involved in making this a reality.”
Dr. Victoria Lee, President and CEO, Fraser Health, said: “We are pleased to open the doors to the state-of-the-art emergency department at Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre, so our teams can build on the excellent care we provide to patients and their families in this rapidly growing community. Whether for families seeking emergency care for their children, or people presenting to hospital with mental health or substance-use concerns, the physical and technological enhancements help us deliver specialized, patient-centred care in Abbotsford and the surrounding communities.”
Liz Harris, Executive Director, Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation, said: “Our donors’ impact on our hospital is huge – they have helped us purchase much-needed equipment for the emergency department expansion campaign. Saying thank you just doesn’t seem to be enough. The equipment they have helped us purchase – like the Lund University cardiopulmonary assist system, portable ultrasound, defibrillator, vein finder and more – serve anyone in the community who requires care. This equipment helps saves lives but also helps our health-care workers provide excellent care to patients.”