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SMH emergency department open for sneak preview

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July 12, 2013

SURREY – Today, Amrik Virk, Minister of Advanced Education and MLA for Surrey-Tynehead, together with representatives of Fraser Health, toured the brand new Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) emergency department, now Canada’s second-largest ER, which opens to patients on Oct. 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 Canada's second-largest emergency department, and 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 and see the results of our investment.”

The 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 and organized into specific areas and zones to provide efficient, patient-centred care.

“As a large regional hospital, Surrey Memorial serves residents from the surrounding communities as well as right here in Surrey,” said Surrey-Fleetwood MLA Peter Fassbender. “This new, much larger and more modern emergency department will make a huge difference to patients all across the Lower Mainland and their families, providing them with high quality, patient-focused care.”

“Surrey Memorial Hospital is close to my heart – from my time serving on the SMH board, I was able to get first-hand insight into how dedicated and talented the staff and physicians here are,” said Surrey-Panorama MLA Marvin Hunt. “The new emergency department, and the critical care tower which will open next year, will provide all of the volunteers, nurses, physicians and staff here at SMH with the tools and space they need to provide the best health care possible to patients.”

Virk toured the ER’s walk-in and triage zone, trauma room, medical imaging unit, care assessment and treatment zone for lower acuity patients, three acute care zones, patient rooms, new technology, and the mental health and substance use zone.

“Surrey is a city that continues to grow at a rapid rate,” said Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Stephanie Cadieux. “Government remains committed to ensuring that every British Columbian has access to quality health services and since 2001 we have spent more than $8.4 billion on health capital projects across the province – this is something to be proud of and this is an investment that will serve many families.”

The tour also included the separate pediatric emergency department that will serve families throughout the Fraser Health region. In collaboration with Child Health BC and BC Children’s Hospital, Fraser Health has developed a clinical practice model and new space design with kids and families in mind. As one of only two pediatric emergencies in B.C., it treats children only. It has its own public entrance, walk-in and triage zone, private treatment rooms, and a special area for pediatric mental health patients.

“This state-of-the-art facility is truly impressive and designed with the patient in mind,” said Dr. Nigel Murray, president and CEO, Fraser Health. “We’ve added new processes and more staff for shorter triage wait times and more timely assessment, treatment, care and discharge. There are now over 100 single-patient treatment rooms, for more privacy and child-friendly murals have been incorporated into the décor of the pediatric emergency. These are just some of the things we’re doing to ensure the patient experience at SMH is a positive one.”

Virk met members of the new emergency pediatric care team, which will be on site 24/7 to treat patients who require critical care cases as well as less severe treatment.

“We’re excited to showcase Surrey Memorial Hospital’s new emergency department to our staff and community,” said Lakh Bagri, interim executive director, SMH. “This sneak preview gives everyone a chance to see inside our bigger, more modern space before it opens on the 1st of October. We think people who attend will be amazed after seeing how we’ve integrated clinical best practices and state-of-the-art technology into the care they’ll receive.”

The new ER marks the completion of Phase 1 of the redevelopment of Surrey Memorial Hospital. The government of British Columbia has committed $492 million, with an intended contribution of $20 million coming from the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation and Child Health BC.

“The Province's support for our new emergency made it possible for the foundation to reach out to the community for help,” said Jane Adams, president and CEO, Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation. “The opportunity to support family-friendly care, including a separate emergency centre for children, really resonated with our donors and we thank them for their generosity.

“Child Health BC and BC Children’s Hospital are pleased to collaborate with Fraser Health and Surrey Memorial Hospital to support improved access to pediatric emergency services for children and youth within the Fraser Health region,” said Larry Gold, president, BC Children’s Hospital, on behalf of Child Health BC. “Working together to support better health and health services for children and youth is our common goal.”

The $512-million total investment is being used to develop the eight-hectare (20-acre) Surrey Memorial Hospital site into a world-class medical community that serves the entire Fraser Health region. This includes an eight-floor critical care tower. The new emergency department is located on the first floor of the critical care tower. The rest of the tower is scheduled to open in June 2014.

The public sneak preview runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, July 13. Details and parking information is available at:


For media inquiries, please contact:

Ryan Jabs
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)

Fraser Health
Media Pager: 604 450-7881


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