A surgeon at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, B.C., says major elective surgeries have been cancelled and patients have been left in hallways because of a lack of resources.
In a letter to the Fraser Health Authority, Dr. Rob Granger said many surgeons are concerned that the hospital has suffered from years of financial neglect with no significant input into infrastructure.
"We are truly in a crisis. Operating slates are cancelled on a daily basis, operating rooms are closed and patients are sitting in hallways for nursing care," Granger said in the March 6 letter that was released to the media Thursday.
Royal Columbian Hospital is considered the major emergency care hub outside of Vancouver.
A change in approach for the hospital is necessary, said Granger, who has worked there for eight years.
"I would suggest that we no longer have departmental surgical OR time. Rather, all OR time will be put into a pool. We will only do emergent procedures," he said.
'Royal Columbian [Hospital] is undersized … That has an impact on the hospital.' — B.C. Health Minister George Abbott
Opposition health critic Adrian Dix accused Health Minister George Abbott of continually ignoring calls from doctors and nurses at the hospital during a media scrum outside the legislature Thursday.
"Will he (Abbott) finally listen to doctors, to nurses and to patients and put the resources necessary into Royal Columbian Hospital?" asked Dix, a member of the New Democratic Party.
Abbott said Royal Columbian Hospital can use more funding and space but denied that the facility is in a crisis.
"Royal Columbian is undersized for the current volumes that they deal with in the emergency department. That has an impact on the hospital," he said Thursday.
Abbott said Fraser Health is looking into what he referred to as "strategic investments" to increase the capacity of the hospital.