LETTER: Surrey’s emergency ward should be better staffed

The Editor,

Re: "’Unprecedented congestion," the Now, Jan. 20.

Around 5 a.m. on the morning of Jan. 11, I was taken to Surrey Memorial Hospital by ambulance. I could not have asked for a quicker response to my 911 call, or for better care from paramedics.However, once I arrived at the hospital, and they determined my ECG was OK, I was put in a hospital-type wheelchair and taken to the regular emergency ward, where I sat for six hours before seeing a doctor.

I overheard some people say they had been sitting in emergency for seven and eight hours. At one point, I overheard a nurse telling someone that things should now start moving faster, as they now had two doctors. Was there only one doctor working in emergency that night up until that time?

Every time I pick up a newspaper, I read about how SMH is experiencing the highest volumes ever of patients in emergency and all types of infection outbreaks are blamed. While I can understand patient numbers being higher now while we are in the cold/flu season, is this not taken into account when they are staffing the emergency department?

Just for the record, I had a perforated appendix in December 2013, and that time I sat in emergency for six-and-ahalf hours before seeing a doctor and being admitted for further tests and surgery. Was there also an infection outbreak then?

Arlene Carey, Surrey

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