Gerry Larson found this clipping in his mother-inlaw’s possessions. The hospital overcrowding problems of 1945 remain today.

LETTER: Langley man finds 1945 newspaper clipping that’s as true today as back then

People were complaining about hospital overcrowding decades ago, and the problem has not been solved

Dear Editor,

I found this newspaper clipping while going through my late Mother in Laws box of memorabilia. She was a resident nurse at the Royal Columbian Hospital in 1945. It is self explanatory in that sadly the same issue of bed shortages still exist almost 75 years later.

Gerry Larson, Murrayville

‘Did you bring a towel’

Hospital wards over-taxed as patients cared for in halls (Dec. 18, 1945)

Royal Columbian hospital was overcrowded when it was found necessary to set up beds down the centre of the wards. Now there are beds with patients in them, in the corridors; but “conditions are no more acute now than for some time past,” said K.K. Reid, chairman of the board, when asked about the situation. The hospital has been accommodating patients in corridors for some time; this is not a new development.

Christmas breather

A breathing space over the Yuletide season is expected. as doctors let their patients go home for Christmas when possible but “they will come back with a bang in January,” the chairman sighed.

Having patients in the corridors is very awkward for the staff (as well as for the patients), especially at meal times and in the morning cleaning up process. From the patients’ point of view the difficulties include lack of light over the head of the bed for reading when sleep eludes, and the lack of a pilot light to summon a nurse in an emergency. There is also of course more traffic in the corridors than in the wards which is not conducive to sleep.

A patient told The British Columbian that when he checked in he was asked if he had brought a towel. At supper time he had to wait for staff to wash some spoons.

The congestion in the women’s ward is not as acute as in the men’s.

Private and semi-private rooms are all booked.

Asked about the feasibility of accommodating patients in rooms now used for administrative purposes, Mr. Reid said nothing that would effectively relieve the congestion has been overlooked. While it is true that the superintendent of nurses and the assistance superintendent have a separate room each, and a bed could be put in one of them, this would not materially relieve the congestion; it would not take patients out of the corridors.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Not over yet: Mixture of snow, freezing rain on way as winter storm tapers in Lower Mainland

Environment Canada releases weather alert for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley

WEATHER: Another wintry storm to hit Langley

Some Friday morning University classes are cancelled due to weather conditions

Aldergrove soccer player makes history as first in CPL sold to another league

Midfielder Joel Waterman was transferred from Calgary’s Cavalry FC to a U.S. Major League soccer team

Aldergrove pool shut down amid ‘extremely cold weather’

It was a circumstance foretold by Aldergrove pool society advocates in 2015

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Dad of missing Abbotsford woman charged after allegedly exposing himself in park

Barry Shpeley charged with sexual assault and assault

Crown won’t appeal sentence in child sex assault case of former Burns Lake mayor

B.C. Prosecution Service said sentence doesn’t meet standard for appeal

VIDEO: Semi driver records 22 crashes in one icy trip from Chilliwack to Abbotsford

‘Treacherous’ morning had emergency crews struggling to reach stranded drivers

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Most Read