Surrey RCMP lockup to have nurse, physician coverage 24/7

SURREY — Surrey’s police committee on Monday awarded a $2.16 million contract to Calian Ltd. to provide medical services for prisoners within the Surrey RCMP’s cellblock for the next three years.

The coverage will be 24/7. Calian Ltd. wlll provide one registered nurse 24/7, and a physician on call 24/7.

Surrey RCMP Chief Supt. Bill Fordy noted his detachment deals with roughly 6,000 prisoners each year. As a group, he said, prisoners often present a higher health risk than the general population for such things as substance abuse, mental health issues and contagious diseases.

A report to the committee authored by Fordy and Nicola Webb, the city’s general manager of human resources, last year the BC Ambulance Service was called to Surrey RCMP’s lockup more than 300 times and Surrey Fire Service made 122 medical calls.

Surrey has had four in-custody deaths over the past nine years, the report notes. Following a coroner’s inquest in 2013, the jury recommended that a nurse or medical practitioner be present in the cellblock on a 24-hour basis.

It’s expected Calian Ltd.’s service will be implemented within eight months to a year.

tzytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

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