Chronic issues for patients and staff at one of British Columbia's largest hospitals have prompted an immediate and long-term expansion plan to ease tensions.
Health Minister Adrian Dix acknowledges patient and staffing issues at Surrey Memorial Hospital have created an atmosphere of stress and frustration.
He says he's aware of reports of patients showing aggression over issues of over-capacity and lengthy wait times at the hospital.
At a news conference today, Dix says he's announcing immediate expansions to emergency and maternity services at the hospital with longer-term expansion of cancer diagnostics and other services within 18 months.
Last month, Surrey hospital doctors released a series of letters saying management at Fraser Health where the hospital is based and B.C.'s Ministry of Health have not provided support for the overstretched emergency room, and lack of staff and hospital capacity that has put patients in jeopardy.
Fraser Health president Dr. Victoria Lee says the recent issues at Surrey Memorial have taken a physical and emotional toll on both patients and hospital staff.