Friday, April 17, 2009

public-private partnership...why not?

Our community was one of the last to get a large sports complex...and then a new civic centre...and both were finally built through a public-private partnership. It seems like the perfect solution to me...the community gets the facility without leaving the taxpayer holding the entire bill.

Last year the first public-private acute care hospital was built in British Columbia. The Abbotsford Regional Hospital is largest and most visible partnership of it's kind in the province. The hospital is the size of thirteen football fields...and has a helicopter landing pad for transporting the injured. It opened it's doors last August...on schedule and on budget...and although there seemed to be a lot of controversy surrounding the public-private connection initially...I have heard little or nothing about it since it went into operation.

I've had plenty of chances to get acquainted with the new facilities this past week...since my dad was admitted with complications from pneumonia just before Easter. I figured out right from the get-go that a map would be a good thing. I have no idea how the staff find their way around! Knowing that his room number is 3020 is not good enough...there are lots of those, it seems. Which wing was I looking for?

The hospital is light and airy...and immediately upon entering, I found myself in this huge atrium. It somehow doesn't have the clinical feel and smell that one assoicates with hospitals.

In smelled rather like Starbucks...and for good reason!

I reasoned that room 3020 must be on the third floor...and so I took the stairs (I was thinking it felt rather like the cruise ship...and so adhered to my 'no elevator' policy!). I found room 3020...but was apparently on the wrong ward. Several football fields later...I found another 3020...

...and there was Dad. He was so grateful for his unending supply of oxygen...the easier it was to tell stories. And Marge was at his bedside...listening!

I could not believe the size of his room...and was thinking it must have been intended for several patients...but that is not the case. Nearly all rooms in the new hospital are private...with very large washrooms. This is the modern trend...not only for patient comfort...but to control and contain contagious diseases, such as SARS. He thinks he is in a five-star hotel...being waited on hand and foot. And having a full line-up of sports channels on the screen right in front of almost more than he could have hoped for. Spending time in the hospital becomes bearable if you can have the Blue Jays and the Canucks there with you!

After six weeks of struggling with seems dad is on the mend once again. We hope he will be well enough to return home soon...but until then, he will enjoy his care and lodging and our newest and best hospital. I think I'm all in favour of public-private partnerships!

Have a great weekend...


  1. I agree, and it is a matter of great debate in Ontario. Quebec has several private or public/private health services.
    What a beautiful place, and I'm sure the wonderful environment is very helpful to your dad's recovery!

  2. I welcome a trend towards hospitals as less institutional-feeling and more healing-feeling. We have two hospitals in Victoria - one an old Edwardian pile and the other a bright and airy place with an atrium not unlike the one you showed.
    I hope your dad is home soon!

  3. What an amazing hospital. I'm very intrigued by the larger rooms and larger restrooms to combat SARS (and other stuff). Must tell my sister about this if I can remember.

    If one must be in a hospital, this looks like a great one. My ongoing best wishes to your dad. Six weeks of pneumonia is plenty long enough!

  4. Please send my get well wishes to Uncle Bill. I hope he is able to return home soon!

    What a beautiful hospital! So spacious and it definately doesn't have that closed in feeling.

  5. Oh goodness. .the rooms really are wonderful for the patients. .the nurses have 4 times as many rooms to visit to see their patients now .. but hey.. .your dad is happy and getting better so that is what matters in this case.

  6. It's so good to know that we finally have a hospital like this.
    Love the photos! The old one realy scared me! I've heard that we have great staff too and that's what counts for a lot too. Even with that, I'm so glad to hear that your dad is on the mend!

  7. Good to see a picture of your dad. Say hi to him from us. Answer to prayers that he is recovering - so sorry that he had to miss the family cruise. We trust he will soon be back to his healthy self.

    The hospital is amazing, however I agree with Lovella, wondering about the miles the nurses may have to walk in a day, taking care of all the patients needs. Maybe it is double the staff!!

  8. Well it looks like he's on recovery.
    What a beautiful hospital.
    I think I need to watch Bullet List once again....

  9. My only visit to the new hospital was 11Pm till 3AM... and in emerg. My experience was not such a good one. Now that I see the 'tour' you took I really missed something quite amazing. What a lovely building! I had to take a double take of your dad...has anyone every said he looks a wee bit like Billy Graham? Wishing him a full recovery soon. Kathy

  10. That's quite a hospital. I'm glad your dad is feeling well enough to be telling stories - that's always a good sign.

  11. That's great news that he seems to be getting better again...and nice that his hospital room is a little more comfortable from what we're all used to. I bet he's been glad to have the Canucks and the Blue Jays to keep him company too.

  12. So glad your Dad is coming home. No matter how lovely the hospital, it's always better to be home. I agree the hospital is great - and so needed in Abbotsford. The only complaint I've heard (and experienced!) is that there's just not enough parking.

  13. Amazing hospital! It sounds like our country is heading in this same direction. It is good to hear something good coming from government involvement for a change. Gotta love the Starbucks shop. Could make going to the hospital a whole lot more palatable.

    Praying that you Dad has a good strong recovery.

  14. What a beautiful new hospital! A far cry from the old fashioned antiquidated ones that have "wards" of beds. As an RN I like the private room idea for many reasons.

    Glad to see your Dad looking so well and to hear he is improving day by day!

  15. I agree, such a good environment would help a person recover with a bit more speed. Best wishes for your father. Beautiful blog!

  16. Judy, I'm glad to read that your father is doing better. My mother is better too, but she still has a ways to go.

    Now, let's talk about your pink hidden in the closet. We have several people that actually post for Pink Saturday on their Friday post because they don't do weekends. ;-)

  17. Hope your Dad makes a good recovery Judy. We too have a brand new hospital in our town. Everything is circular with rooms and wards going off like a wheel. I know the staff founbd it difficult finding their way around not to mention visitors. The entrance area is more like an airport terminal.


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