Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre's 11-year-old emergency ward is getting ready for an upgrade as it aims to meet the needs of the city's growing population. 

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the $16 million project on Friday. 

"I am very very very proud today to announce that we will be expanding the emergency room at this hospital," he said at a news conference. 

The added space will have 12 new patient exam rooms, trauma bays and a renovated triage area.

"Since this hospital was built in 2008, it has grown significantly compare to the size that we have," said Fraser Health CEO Dr. Victoria Lee.

"So sometimes the patients are not treated in the best care environment."

Lee is hoping the new expansion will help solve that problem, along with other issues like mental health and long emergency wait time. 

Between 2018 and 2019, the hospital's emergency department saw over 77,000 patients, which was an increase of 13 per cent since 2013 to 2014. 

Emergency departments are being expanded at four other Fraser Health hospitals: Burnaby Hospital, Eagle Ridge Hospital, Langley Memorial Hospital and Peach Arch Hospital. 

The construction will begin this fall with an estimated completion date of summer 2021.