SMH flood

Hospital flood cost pegged at more than $2 million

Damage to MRI machine at Surrey Memorial Hospital ER still not known: Fraser Heatlh

The cost of the Nov. 19 flood at Surrey Memorial Hospital’s emergency department is now estimated at between $2 and $3 million.

That figure includes restoring damage to the building, some medical equipment, lost supplies and extra staff time.

Fraser Health spokesman Roy Thorpe-Dorward said the initial tally does not include the ER’s MRI machine, which is still to be assessed by a technician coming in soon.

“That is still the big unknown for us at this point,” he said, adding a new MRI costing “a few million” could more than double the cost of the flood.

Water burst through the back wall of the ER after an excavator broke a water main at the SMH expansion construction site.

Fraser Health officials expect insurance held by the subcontractor responsible for the break will cover damage, but that’s still to be worked out. The hospital itself is also fully insured.

Thorpe-Dorward said the ER is expected to fully reopen early next week and said restoration work is progressing well.

Royal Columbian, Peace Arch and Langley Memorial hospitals have felt the most impact from the diversion of ER patients who would normally go to Surrey.

Royal Columbian is running with about 22 per cent more patients in its ER

Thorpe-Dorward said all hospitals west of Abbotsford are now helping pick up some of the overflow from SMH, including Delta, Eagle Ridge and Ridge Meadows hospitals, which weren’t initially on the receiving list.

Ambulances are taking new emergency cases to whichever hospital has the most room at any time.

He said patients that are stabilized and admitted at another hospital are often being transferred back to SMH later.

“They’ve still go the full inpatient capability in Surrey,” he said, noting only the ER is closed.

Patients arriving on their own at SMH’s ER are being redirected to the nearby Jim Pattison Outpatient Surgery and Care Centre, which is acting as a temporary ER.

As of Sunday, about 550 patients had been treated there.