Abbotsford mayor says hospital needs to be expanded

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

Brandon Hobbs (turquoise shirt), brother of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs, gathers with other family and friends to distribute posters in Chilliwack on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Search efforts expand to Chilliwack and beyond for missing Abbotsford man

Family, friends put up posters in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope for missing 22-year-old Adam Hobbs

A CH-149 Cormorant from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron out of CFB Comox on a training exercise in Chilliwack on June 16, 2021. (William Snow photo)
VIDEO: Military search and rescue training in Chilliwack Wednesday

CH-149 Cormorant and CC-115 Buffalo from CFB Comox participated in downed aircraft rescue simulation

Stock photo by LEEROY Agency from Pixabay
Drop-in vaccination clinics slated in Abbotsford for construction workers

Among three sites in Lower Mainland holding no-appointment clinics in June and July

In this pre-pandemic meeting at the Friendship House in Agassiz, a packed house of residents expressed their concerns for and against the Teacup properties exclusion application to the ALC. The ALC recently denied the exclusion, keeping the McDonald Road properties as agricultural land. (File Photo/Adam Louis)
ALC refuses Teacup properties exclusion application

The decision comes nearly one year after application submitted

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read