Dix says no gag order on doctors amid warning of ‘crisis’ at Surrey Memorial Hospital

18 May 2023 | Health | 32 |
Dix says no gag order on doctors amid warning of ‘crisis’ at Surrey Memorial Hospital

B.C.’s health minister says there’s no gag order on doctors at the province’s busiest hospital.

The comments come two days after dozens of emergency room physicians at Surrey Memorial Hospital penned an open letter warning of “unsafe conditions” at the facility.

Hospital staff have also launched a website warning the hospital is “in crisis.”

The doctors say the province has failed to communicate the gravity of the situation to the public, and alleged Fraser Health has told doctors “not to openly discuss our ‘challenges’ with the public.”

In an interview with Global News Wednesday, Adrian Dix said there was no gag order on health-care workers.

“No,” he said.

“They’re not. We’re hearing from them, obviously, and that’s part of the debate.”

Monday’s letter warned that a shortage of beds and admitting doctors had left the hospital’s emergency room overwhelmed, and staff performing hallway medicine with sometimes deadly outcomes.

It went on to say B.C.’s elected officials have “failed to provide any meaningful solutions” to change the daily reality for doctors on the ground.

The situation has other elected officials in Surrey speaking out.

“The docs are concerned about their patients, they’re concerned about Surrey residents and I want them to feel they can speak up for their patients. They need to, that’s their obligation,” Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke said.

“If they’re being gagged and not able to properly communicate to the public, that is completely unacceptable,” added Surrey-White Rock BC United MLA Trevor Halford.

“This minister needs to step in, do the right thing, lift these gag orders if that’s the case and allow these doctors to communicate with the public.”

Speaking to the Surrey Board of Trade on Wednesday, Dix said plans were in the works to get patients out of Surrey Memorial Hospital’s emergency room faster.

He added that he is optimistic emergency room congestion will ease in the province’s fastest growing city when a second Surrey hospital opens in 2027.

by Global News