Little impact at Ridge Meadows Hospital from Surrey ER closure

Broken water main disrupts ops, but patients didn't come to Maple Ridge

While the emergency room of Surrey Memorial Hospital may be dealing with a flood this week, Ridge Meadows Hospital has avoided a flood of patients as a result.

Emergency patients are being diverted to other hospitals across the Fraser Health region by the B.C. Ambulance Service. However, that hasn’t affected Ridge Meadows Hospital much, said a Fraser Health spokesperson, owing to the hospital’s distance from Surrey Memorial.

A “couple hundred” emergency patients are likely being handled by other hospitals that would normally be at SMH, said Fraser Health spokesman Roy Thorpe-Dorward.

Surrey Memorial’s emergency room had to be evacuated Monday morning after contractors ruptured a water main while renovating the hospital’s North Tower lobby. The emergency room is the busiest in B.C., and is expected to be closed for approximately two weeks as restoration work is completed following Monday’s flood. Twenty-five patients in the ER were quickly evacuated to other parts of the hospital.

A total of 108 scheduled, elective, non-urgent surgical procedures had to be postponed, but all nine operating rooms at the hospital have since been re-opened and will be running at full capacity to catch up on elective surgeries.

Thorpe-Dorward noted the incident allowed Fraser Health to activate and refine its disaster plans.

“We learned our staff don’t panic under pressure,” he said.