PRESS RELEASE: Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital Bursting at the Seams
Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital Bursting at the Seams
(FREDERICTON, NB) Last week, the MLA for Fredericton South, David Coon, met with John McGarry, the President and CEO of Horizon Health Network to tour the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital (DECH).
Mr. Coon was shown firsthand how over-extended the hospital is. In one unit after another patients or their loved ones sat in hallways functioning as waiting rooms. Some inpatients were resting in makeshift rooms constructed from TV lounges cordoned off with hospital curtains.
In other units, the hallways were lined with carts of medical supplies and equipment because there was no storage space available. In the pediatric unit, the teens had only the children’s playroom to use because their lounge had been converted into adult bed space.
The labour and delivery wing accommodated 1600 births last year, the highest number in New Brunswick, but is unable to provide the latest standard of care because they do not have the space. The intensive care unit had staff working so closely together there was hardly room to move.
“This hospital is bursting at the seams,” Mr. Coon said.
“Improvements are needed across the entire hospital, from labour and delivery to intensive care. It is essential that the next capital budget enables the Chalmers hospital to get back on track with their renovation plans,” he added.
The Chalmers hospital has been working on a major renovation plan since 2006, but has faced setbacks as Horizon chose to address other priorities. With support from the capital budget over the past two years, the hospital developed its renovation program and submitted it to government in November of 2014. Approval to fund the architectural design work was expected in the capital budget for 2015-2016, but it was withheld, which once again puts the desperately needed renovations on hold for another year.