General information about the B.C. Biocontainment Treatment Centre

Information about what Fraser Health is doing to prepare for the possibility of treating rare and emerging pathogens.

As of 2018, Surrey Memorial Hospital has been selected as the site of B.C.’s first permanent Biocontainment Treatment Centre. This is an important opportunity for our hospital to contribute to leading-edge care for emerging and rare diseases and to help guard global public health.

Surrey Memorial Hospital developed expertise in the area of rare or emerging disease management during the 2014 Ebola preparedness planning exercise. We are confident that the work completed at this time, in addition to the detailed planning we are currently undertaking, will ensure our state of readiness on behalf of the population we serve.

The B.C. Biocontainment Treatment Centre will care for any child or adult in B.C. who is suspected or confirmed to have an illness caused by a rare or emerging pathogen which requires biocontainment. 

Our care team will be supported to ensure they are well-equipped and highly trained. Beginning in 2019, the Centre will also serve as a training hub to share knowledge across health care systems. 

There are currently no confirmed cases of rare or emerging pathogens such as Ebola in Fraser Health. The risk of British Columbians acquiring a rare pathogen is extremely low. Even if a true case arrives in Fraser Health, we are confident the case would be quickly isolated and managed.

While Surrey Memorial Hospital is designated as the provincial B.C. Biocontainment Treatment Centre site, all hospitals will work to a state of readiness to assess, screen and test a patient who presents with a rare or emerging pathogen in future. Simulation training for Fraser Health, Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health staff is ongoing, with the initial focus on the correct and safe technique for putting on and removing personal protective equipment in accordance with national protocols.

Of course we continue to watch and learn from what is happening around the world – refining our protocols and procedures to ensure our staff and the people we serve are as safe as possible for the unlikely event that a rare or emerging pathogen emerges in B.C.

For the latest information on rare and emerging pathogens please visit: