LETTER: Sad state of health care in province

Waiting days in emergency for hospital rooms and procedures

We have all experienced a visit to the emergency department of a hospital, waiting in some cases several hours to be seen. But I wonder how many are aware of what apparently is now common place at Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

A friend was referred by his family physician to their emergency dept last week. The doctor suspected liver cancer. Once there my friend had a number of tests including x-rays and a CT scan. The doctor he saw has more or less confirmed the diagnosis and ordered a biopsy.

My friend has now been sitting in a hospital chair in emergency going into his fifth night, waiting either for a room and/or the biopsy, I guess whichever comes first. He is in pain, being administered morphine. He is located in a draped cubicle, I would say possibly 8×8, with two other rotating patients. He has been told if he leaves, it will be likely four to six weeks before the biopsy will be done.

When I asked a nurse (they all appear by the way quite caring & friendly) what is normal in this situation, she indicated typically a patient awaiting admittance from emergency would wait in my friend’s position for approximately three days.

From another source (which I cannot confirm) I was advised the hospital registered approx 7,700 patients in emergency in April. Of those, approx 4.9% left without being seen. Apparently 3.5% is the “acceptable” level.

I would encourage people to enter the Abbotsford hospital through their main entrance. (Surrey Memorial by the way is an even worse example). You could easily drive four vehicles through the lobby, which is clearly a tribute to someone’s visions of grandeur, as opposed to functionality.

Wasted and opulent space (misguided tributes to someone’s ego), moreĀ  administrative staff than nurses and physicians,and no space at the Inn, all appear to be evidence of a broken health system. Add that to someone’s idea to charge more for emergency parking than regular.

As an aside, my mother in law is going to Abbotsford (she now lives in Surrey) Saturday for an MRI she has waited 18 months for. On her original notification,it states to “check the year” of your appointment. What a sad commentary on the state of health care in this province.

RW Davies