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HomeNewsExclusive: Patient shocked by mousetrap wonders when they’ll build a better Burnaby Hospital

Exclusive: Patient shocked by mousetrap wonders when they’ll build a better Burnaby Hospital


Bob Mackin

A retired nurse who stayed two weeks at the aging Burnaby Hospital last summer said she was alarmed by a mousetrap in her washroom.

Joyce Moski, 81, said she was treated at the hospital’s Acute Care for the Elderly unit from Aug. 19 to Sept. 2. A photo of the patient washroom of room 523 that she provided to theBreaker shows a mousetrap and two pest control boxes that Moski said were in direct line of sight from the toilet.

“There’s a walk-in shower in that room,” Moski said. “There is absolutely no way I would’ve stepped into that shower in my bare feet. If there’s mice in the bathroom, why would I?”

Mousetrap photographed Aug. 22 in Burnaby Hospital’s elderly ward (Joyce Moski)

She said she complained to Fraser Health, but was told by a health inspector that the department only inspects kitchens. Moski also said a portion of the baseboard in the washroom was attached to the wall with multiple pieces of paper medical tape.

Fraser Health spokesman Dixon Tam said in a prepared statement that the authority was “sorry seeing a mousetrap was upsetting for our patient, but pest control is part of the regular year-round maintenance plan for Burnaby Hospital.”

Pests are a challenging situation, especially with a large, older building with many access points,” Tam said. “Our proactive strategy includes setting traps plus locating and sealing access points into the building. It’s not uncommon to see pests looking for warmth this time of year so we work to mitigate any issues.”

Said Moski: “I think our temperatures were pretty high, Aug. 19-Sept. 2, I don’t think [mice] were seeking refuge from the cold. I think they were well-established.”

Tam said Fraser Health did not have the costs associated with pest control because it is managed under contracted services.

Moski said she doesn’t blame the nursing staff.

“I understand the system, there are so many layers of management, middle management and senior management, there is no money left for care, there’s no money left for housekeeping, that’s why it’s all contracted out,” Moski said.

In 2012, Burnaby BC Liberal MLAs Richard Lee and Harry Bloy struck the Burnaby Hospital Community Consultation Committee. Documents obtained by the NDP said the committee’s purpose was to “deliver a new seat” and win two swing ridings for the party in Burnaby.

The condition of the 66-year-old hospital is of major concern to Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley, who vowed to lobby the NDP provincial government for a replacement. In his swearing-in speech, Hurley mentioned a Nov. 1 Burnaby Now story, in which three patients in hospital gowns were sent via taxi to Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster because Burnaby’s only CT scanner was down.

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