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

MP Morrison faults federal Throne Speech as new Parliament session begins

Kootenay-Columbia representative criticizes a lack of focus on jobs, support for resource sector

Kimberley Public Library re-opens doors to the public

Library has solely offered curbside service since onset of pandemic

Wildlife camera project explores effects of forest management practices on wildlife

Findings show no detections of cougars in sites that have been clear cut

City of Kimberley looking for feedback on active transportation

What do you like about the existing trail network for walking and cycling? What needs improvement?

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Interior Health reports five new COVID-19 cases

Across the region, 34 cases are active

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Most Read