Patient prepared for operation at Cambie Surgery Centre in Vancouver, 2016. The B.C. health ministry has increased its contracted surgeries with private clinics to help catch up on 30,000 cancelled surgeries due to COVID-19. (The Canadian Press)

COVID-19: B.C. ‘almost back to normal’ on scheduled surgeries

Additional summer operating hours mean more procedures

Surgical procedures in B.C. hospitals are still taking slightly longer due to COVID-19 precautions, but as of July there were still more being done than the same time last year.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix released his second update on the surgery recovery program he launched this spring, showing that from June 26 to July 23, 904 more surgical procedures were completed than the same period in 2019.

The increase is a result of running operating rooms on weekends, hiring more anesthesiologists and training or hiring extra nurses and technologists. Functioning operating room hours have increased by six per cent, and hip and knee surgeries have increased by four per cent over last year.

Extra pandemic procedures for operating rooms meant they were taking 26 per cent longer to treat when elective surgeries were resumed in June, but as of Sept. 1 the difference is minimal and “the time it takes to perform surgeries is almost back to normal,” Dix said in a statement.

Dix acknowledged that with 30,000 procedures cancelled, wait times remain long.

“We recognize that B.C.’s surgical renewal plan is a massive undertaking,” Dix said. “Fulfilling our commitment to patients is an all-in effort, and we are working together with everyone in the health care system to increase surgeries, add staff and operating room hours and get more patients the surgeries they need.”

RELATED: Sept. 1 sees 58 new cases of COVID-19, 1,124 active

RELATED: Keep businesses going to outlast COVID-19, B.C. told


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

Langley East Liberal candidate denies NDP accusation of homophobia over crosswalk vote

Margaret Kunst said she has worked with LGBTQ youth with her PuCKS charity

Langley surveys its residents about building sustainable community

Township encourages people to have their say about climate action before Oct. 16

LETTER: Langley neighbourhood re-established as quarter-mile racetrack

Writer queries what the municipality want residents to do about the growing problem of speeders?

B.C.’s top doctor encourages Halloween costumes to include masks

Dr. Bonnie Henry will soon be releasing guidelines on how to safely trick-or-treat this Halloween

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

Racist, homophobic graffiti prominent in downtown Maple Ridge

City councillors up late removing hateful message

Reincarnation, baby! Music-making B.C. couple celebrate ‘miracle’ pregnancy

‘I (said) to Adam, ‘I really think this is your brother reincarnated,’ Elise Estrada says

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Survey finds doctors worry supplies of flu vaccine, PPE will lag demand

Canadian health officials have said additional flu vaccines have been ordered to meet expected demand

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

Ahead of likely second wave, 60% of Canadians relaxing COVID-19 measures

Proportion of Canadians following safety measures has dropped by 3 per cent in the past two weeks

Most Read