A new $512-million emergency department at Surrey Memorial Hospital was officially opened Tuesday.
Premier Christy Clark and Health Minister Terry Lake joined Fraser Health officials at the event.
“The new emergency department is an investment in the future of the community and one that will support families across the Fraser Health region,” Lake said.
The emergency department is the second largest in Canada.
The new facility is organized into specific zones to provide efficient, patient-centred care. This includes separate areas for walk-in and triage, patients in critical condition, less-critical patients and a mental health and substance use zone.
The centre also includes a separate pediatric emergency department for children, one of only two in B.C. The pediatric emergency has its own entrance, private treatment rooms, a family area and a special area for pediatric mental-health patients along with a care team that will be on site 24/7.
Fraser Health president and CEO Dr. Nigel Murray said opening the state of the art emergency department is a major milestone for Surrey and the region.
The new emergency department will be able to hold six ambulances in a secure garage, have over 100 single patient rooms and be able to provide approximately 70,000 medical imaging procedures a year.
“We are excited to now have a space where clinical best practices have been integrated in the design and where state-of-the-art technology is used to ensure the patient experience is a positive one,” said Dr. Craig Murray, an emergency physician at SMH.
The new emergency department is located on the first floor of the eight-floor Critical Care Tower. The remaining floors of the tower are expected to open in June 2014.
The new emergency department marks a significant milestone in the redevelopment of Surrey Memorial Hospital, which is being developed into a world-class medical community that serves the entire Fraser Health Region.
“A big thank you to everyone who made this day possible,” said Jane Adams, CEO, Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation. “Surrey and the region now have an Emergency Department designed to meet the needs of our growing population. Our donors also showed their outstanding generosity and support, helping Fraser Health purchase 20 per cent of the equipment needed for both the adult and pediatric areas.”
The original Surrey Memorial ER was built in 1991 to serve 44,000 patient visits a year, but has evolved into the busiest emergency in B.C. with almost 100,000 patient visits per year, more than double its intended capacity.
“Child Health BC (CHBC) an initiative of BC Children’s Hospital, is proud to have played a key role in the creation and ongoing development of the Surrey Memorial Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department, and in bringing this state-of-the-art facility to Surrey and the surrounding communities,” added Dr. Maureen O’Donnell, executive director, Child Health BC. “A tremendous amount of work has lead up to the opening, congratulations to everyone involved. CHBC is looking forward to continuing our collaboration with Fraser Health toward our shared goal – an integrated, accessible system that helps to provide the highest quality of care for the children and youth of Surrey, the Fraser region and all of B.C.”
The government of British Columbia has committed $492 million to the project, with an intended contribution of $20 million from the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation and Child Health BC.