A doctor shortage at Peace Arch Hospital sent two expectant mothers to Surrey Memorial last weekend.

Doc shortage sends two expectant moms to Surrey

Diversions continue at Peace Arch Hospital due to lack of anesthesiologists

Fraser Health officials say a gap in anesthesiologist coverage at Peace Arch Hospital caused minimal disruption last weekend.

The overnight shortage – from Friday at 6 p.m. to Saturday at 6:30 p.m. – was the second in two weeks at the hospital.

It resulted in two maternity patients being sent to Surrey Memorial Hospital; neither of those women actually came through the hospital’s doors, FH spokesman Roy Thorpe-Dorward said.

“They both went in their own vehicles with family members,” he told Peace Arch News Monday.

The gap was the fourth at PAH since the beginning of September. To date, the shortage has resulted in 12 patients being diverted either from home or from the hospital. Thorpe-Dorward did not, by PAN‘s deadline Wednesday, have statistics regarding how many – if any – emergency surgeries were diverted Friday.

Word of the two latest diversions was delivered to the local ER department and other health officials in an internal memo dated Oct. 16. It cited an “unanticipated gap in the call schedule coverage.”

The two orphaned shifts – described as “unavoidable” by the health authority’s interim executive director of clinical programs, maternal, infant, child and youth, David Portesi – were expected to be the last.


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