Mr. Speaker, Mount Saint Joseph Hospital has an emergency department that is staffed by excellent medical professionals. However, it is severely overcrowded and under strain. The emergency department was built to handle 14,000 visits per year. It is now seeing over 28,000. Up to three patients are being housed in rooms built for one and physicians are treating patients in the hallways. There is no proper isolation capability, which is a serious concern for the control of infectious disease. Patient privacy, proper medical histories, and staff safety are being sacrificed.
The hospital requested $24 million from the provincial government to build a new emergency department. Unfortunately, this funding was refused by the B.C. Liberals.
MSJ provides the only emergency department conveniently accessible to east Vancouver residents. Because the department is only open until 8 p.m., residents are put at unnecessary risk as they are forced to travel to Burnaby or the west side of Vancouver to receive emergency care.
I request that the federal government work with its provincial counterpart to ensure that this important facility can better protect the health of Canadians.