Duke and Duchess of Cambridge thank BC hospital workers for their work during pandemic

Prince William and Kate Middleton celebrated Canada Day by speaking with British Columbia doctors and nurses over Zoom.
By: Stewart Wiseman
July 02, 2020
Photo: CBC News

Doctors and nurses at the Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey, British Columbia were thanked for their tireless work on Wednesday by two special guests: Prince William and Kate Middleton. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge marked Canada Day by thanking front-line staff at the hospital over Zoom for their incredible work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The royal couple received an excited reaction from the Surrey Memorial Hospital healthcare workers, who were encouraged to share their experiences of working on the front-line against COVID-19. The healthcare workers discussed several issues with their special guests, including the new workplace realities under COVID-19 and the state of their mental health working during the pandemic.

The Duke and Duchess asked staff what their biggest challenges have been over the last few months, and several hospital workers pointed to the inability to meet the families of COVID-19 patients, making it difficult to provide family-focused care. "It has impacted patients' mental health and their families' mental health," explained hospital social worker Sunny Dulai. Dulai said that patients and family members have suffered "a lot of distress" from not being able to see loved ones. Despite the difficulties of treating COVID-19, Dr. Gregory Haljan said that the health workers were very fortunate to have tremendous leadership at the hospital. “We’ve been planning since February. It came here earlier than a few other places, but with great planning, leadership and a lot of luck as well, we all know that we’ve been very fortunate.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton wished the healthcare workers a happy Canada Day, and thanked them for their efforts and the personal sacrifices that they've had to make. "It's an amazing role that you're playing and a hugely tough one as well, so we're in huge admiration for everything you're doing," said the Duchess of Cambridge. Prince William said that he was moved to thank the healthcare workers for the manner in which they've navigated these tough times. "We want to say how proud we are of all of you and everyone on the front line who has led the way, very stoically, very bravely, and put patient care right at the top of the list, and done a fantastic job," said Prince William. The royal couple said that they look forward to one day visiting the hospital and thanking the staff in person.

Source: CBC News

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