Surrey hospital won’t have emergency team for parts of May long weekend, doctor claims

A B.C. doctor and provincial election candidate claims one of B.C.’s biggest hospitals will not have a critical emergency team in place for the next long weekend.

Dr. Claudine Storness-Bliss, who is an OBGYN at Surrey Memorial Hospital and a B.C. United candidate for Surrey-Cloverdale told Global News that due to staffing shortages and a lack of adequate compensation, Surrey Memorial Hospital will not have a Code Blue team for parts of the May long weekend.

A Code Blue team handles patients who require resuscitation or immediate attention, most often as a result of cardiac or respiratory arrest.

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“Recruitment has been very, very difficult, because it’s not well-compensated,” Storness-Bliss said.

“This was brought to Fraser Health in the fall, and repeated efforts to have these conversations and find solutions, have failed, and so now as of last night we know that May long weekend there are two 12-hour periods where there will be no Code Blue team.”

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However, Health Minister Adrian Dix said there won’t be an issue.

“There are moments when issues arise when people aren’t available and we work with people to solve them,” he said.

“There’s not going to be a problem on the Victoria Day long weekend.”

Dix said the government has a contract with more than 60 doctors to provide Code Blue coverage 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

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