Surrey Memorial Hospital ER doctors sound alarm on crisis


Another group of doctors is speaking up about dire conditions in their hospital, warning patients are dying after waiting a day or longer to be seen by a doctor in the emergency department of Surrey Memorial Hospital.


Signed by Surrey Memorial Hospital Emergency Physicians, the open letter opens with the doctors saying they felt “compelled to inform the public of the unsafe conditions that exist in our hospital, and the lack of communication about this crisis to patients and public.”


They say despite attention from the ministry of health, conditions are worsening at the busiest emergency department in British Columbia, and that even for seriously sick or injured patients, “it is common for them to linger for days without an admitting physician looking after them; many patients have suffered, and some have died while waiting.” 


CTV News has spoken with some of the staff directly but agreed to conceal their identities for fear of repercussions, which has been a massive concern in the province: muzzled healthcare workers of all stripes describe a culture of fear for speaking out about the failures of the system, even when they’re solely advocating for their patients’ safety and care.


“Fraser Health has repeatedly told ER physicians to not openly discuss our ‘challenges’ with the public,” the group writes in its letter.


“RED ALERT” IN ALL OF B.C.’S EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS


The focus on emergency department medicine came after CTV News was first to report on a Langley doctor who wrote to his colleagues, urging them to counsel their patients against going to Langley Memorial Hospital, which he described as “near catastrophic.”


The Langley Division of Family Practice reinforced that message days later, and shortly after, the Doctors of BC issued a statement warning that all emergency departments

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