In November last year, Surrey Memorial Hospital was in the news for all the wrong reasons when twenty five patients were evacuated after the Emergency Room was flooded with water because of a burst pipe.
It was felt that the facilities at the SMH were far too inadequate to cater to the ever-growing population of this area.
But on Friday, Amrik Virk, Minister of Advanced Education and MLA for Surrey-Tynehead, with representatives of Fraser Health, took the media around the brand new Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) Emergency Department in a sneak preview to Canada’s second largest ER, which will open to patients on October 1, 2013.
“This new ER will allow health-care workers to deliver exceptional care to individuals and families in a much larger, more modern facility,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “When it opens to the public in October it will be something for which Surrey residents and British Columbians can feel proud.”
“Our government is building better patient care for families across British Columbia, including right here in Surrey, with a new critical care tower and new emergency department that is part of a $512-million redevelopment and expansion,” said Virk. “I invite the people of Surrey and surrounding communities to come to the sneak preview on Saturday (July 13) and see the results of our investment.”
The media sneak preview included a behind-the-scenes tour of the new 5,295-square-metre (57,000-square-foot) space, which is five times bigger than Surrey’s current ER.
This Saturday (July 13) visitors too will get a sneak peek of the vast complex facility.
The July 13 free public tours run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Parking is free on Saturday – visitors are to enter at the southwest corner of 94A Avenue.
The bigger building also comes with 275 more staff and 3,750 new pieces of equipment, many of them being provided by the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation.
Officials say the advanced new Emergency Department will help SMH attract more specialized ER professionals.
Fraser Health projects the SMH ER, which now handles twice the number of patients it was built for, will hit 109,000 patient visits next year, including 8,000 with mental health or addiction issues.
Adult visits are projected to rise 30 per cent from 2010 levels by 2020 and climb a further 23 per cent by 2030.
The new ER is just part of the $512-million SMH redevelopment and expansion.
The rest of the project is slated for completion in 2014 and includes a new eight-storey critical care tower with 150 more inpatient beds, intensive care unit, academic space and perinatal centre.