Two days after Surrey Memorial's emergency room was flooded by a broken water pipe, Fraser Health is saying it could be two weeks or more before the facility is able to reopen and accept new patients.
In the meantime, patients are being redirected to the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre and a 24/7 mobile medical centre set up beside the Jim Pattison facility.
"We won't open until it's completely safe for patient care," said Fraser Health spokesperson Roy Thorpe-Dorward, who noted the mobile facility could accommodate up to 180 patients per day.
As a result of Monday's flood, 108 elective, non-urgent surgeries were postponed. To address that, Thorpe-Dorward was happy to announce that all nine SMH operating rooms had reopened, as well as five at the Jim Pattison facility.
"With 14 operating rooms running at full capacity we're hopeful to get caught up quickly," said Thorpe-Dorward. "The answer depends on emergency traffic that comes in the meantime."
Also helping out with the flow of patients are other hospitals in the regions, including Langley Memorial, Royal Columbian and Peace Arch hospitals.
"B.C. Ambulance is still on diversion for emergency 911 calls that would normally come to Surrey Memorial," said Thorpe-Dorward. "We've seen about a 27 per cent increase in emergency traffic at Royal Columbian Hospital and... Peace Arch Hospital saw a considerable increase in traffic over the past couple of days, about 36 per cent over their usual emergency department volumes."
Mary Rhode, director of site operations at Peace Arch Hospital, said on the Monday and Tuesday following the flood, they saw an additional 100 patients each day.
As to who's to blame, Thorpe-Dorward said Fraser Health is in talks with the company currently working on site, PAX Construction, and its insurance provider.
"We're still working on fine details as far as responsibilities but the Surrey Memorial and the site are fully insured," he said, noting cost estimates was still being determined.