Dr. Bob Anthony

Langley hospital gets $30 million ER

An upgrade to the Langley Memorial Hospital won’t likely see construction start until next year.

The province announced a $30 million expansion of Langley Memorial Hospital’s emergency department Friday afternoon.

The project will increase the number of treatment spaces in the ER to 49 from 31.

It will also add:

• A pediatric waiting area for child patients

• Seperate entries for walk-in patients and ambulance arrivals

• A second trauma bay will be added

• A secure separate unit will be added for mental health and substance abuse patients

• To minimize infection, there will be more handwashing areas, utility rooms, a decontamination area, and an isolation room.

“The patients in the Langley area are going to be the great beneficiaries of this new hospital,” said Dr. Bob Anthony, a longtime ER doctor who works at LMH.

It will mean more room for patients, for staff, and a change from the current “cramped” single trauma bay, Anthony said.

“I can hardly wait for the groundbreaking,” said Anthony, who is semi-retired but commutes from Vancouver to work at LMH.

That groundbreaking is likely to come in 2018, said Langley MLA and environment minister Mary Polak, who announced the approval.

There were more than 46,000 visits to the Langley hospital ER last year, a number expected to grow along with Langley’s population, said Jason Cook, executive director of LMH.

“The expansion of the emergency department allows for better patient-centred care in a redeveloped facility.”

Fraser Health will spend $20.06 million on the expansion, and the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation will contribute $10 million.

Procurement and design for the project will begin soon.

“This really moves the hospital in a very forward, positive direction,” said Langley City Mayor Ted Schaffer.

Mayor Jack Froese of Langley Township said he was confident there was a good plan in place for expansion.

He also talked about moving some services out of hospitals through outreach programs as another way to deliver health care.