Two weeks to the day a flooding closed it down, Surrey Memorial Hospital's emergency room was once again opened to the public.
Within the first 30 minutes, three ambulances arrived to drop off patients, and by 10: 30 a.m., the ER had already admitted 21 patients. Despite the switch back to SMH, everything was running "smoothly" right off the bat, said Tasleem Juma of Fraser Health.
"Staff and physicians were back in their familiar departments and in terms of what it looked like, it has a fresh coat of paint and a lot of people were very excited about being back," said Juma.
Closed as a result of a construction mishap that saw a ruptured water line flood the ground floor of SMH with water 18 inches deep, the ER was left looking like something out of a disaster scene, with walls having to be ripped up and replaced.
While the final number has yet to be determined, estimates on how much the damage would cost to repair is being pegged at around $2 to 3 million.
"For the moment, none of the cost estimate numbers have changed," said Juma.
However, that may change once the state of the MRI machine, which is still out of service, is fully assessed.
"We're kind of hoping to have an answer within the next sort of week to 10 days," said Juma. "At that point, if the MRI needs to be replaced, that cost can go up to even $6 million because a new machine could cost around $3 million."
The total cost, whether it's $6 million or $3 million, will be covered by insurance, but at this point, said Juma, whose insurance will cover it remains to be seen. Fraser Health has its own insurer, as does the construction company involved, PAX Construction.
"Our (Fraser Health's) insurance company will be in touch with the construction company's insurance agency and then it will be a discussion between those two to see who will pay for what," said Juma.
During the two-week closure, emergency patients were redirected to nearby hospitals, as well as a makeshift urgent care centre set up at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. That centre was set to close Tuesday, however, patients requiring MRIs will still be serviced at Jim Pattison.
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