Elective surgeries have been postpone across B.C. hospitals to clear beds for COVID-19 patients (Black Press files)

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

B.C. hospitals have postponed more than 11,000 scheduled surgeries to clear more than a third of acute care hospital beds for potential COVID-19 patients, but they have not been cancelled, Health Minister Adrian Dix says.

Dix said at his daily coronavirus pandemic briefing April 3 that some of the backlog of elective surgeries will be done under a contract between Fraser Health and the False Creek Surgical Centre in Vancouver.

“I just want to say to people who are in need of surgeries, you are still on the list,” Dix said. “We are committed to getting back to these procedures.”

Between March 17 and April 2, 11,276 scheduled surgical procedures were cancelled due to the onset of COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Of that total, “1,208 are hip and knee replacements, 240 are dental surgeries, which are essential surgeries if they’re required in an acute care setting, and 7,801 are other surgeries,” Dix said.

He stressed that all of the postponed elective surgeries are medically necessary, and thanked people who are waiting longer while the province braces for the worst of the pandemic.

RELATED: B.C. private surgery battle now in judge’s hands

RELATED: 53 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., four more deaths

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s daily case update noted that the number of COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals actually declined by two between April 2 and 3, to 146. Of those, 63 are in Fraser Health, 57 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 12 are in Interior Health, 10 in Island Health and four in the Northern Health region.

As the B.C. government waits for the outcome of its four-year legal battle with the Cambie Surgical Centre over billing people for medically necessary services, Dix said the False Creek Surgical Centre is doing entirely publicly paid procedures as required by the Canada Health Act.

“This will give us more flexibility as we respond to increasing wait lists after, we hope, we are able to resume normal practice in terms of elective surgeries,” Dix said.

After pay parking at B.C. health care facilities was suspended on March 30 to reduce personal contact and use of keypads by staff, patients and the few visitors who are allowed, there has been a problem with people using hospital parking inappropriately. Dix described long waits for parking at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, the regional referral hospital for Fraser Health, B.C.’s largest health region, and other facilities.

Enforcement is being arranged so that everyone who parks at health facilities does so legitimately, he said.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Just Posted

Island man’s brother and cousin shot dead during Chicago protests

Ladysmith school principal Dionte Jelks doubts he’ll ever set foot on US soil again

Monday rang in partial return of school across Vancouver Island

School District reopening of schools came with revised health measures

Federal government says no to relaxing log export rules

News comes after Steelworkers, Mosaic ask for ‘temporary relief’ on log export policy

Fire at Victoria hotel contained to one room, leaves 20 suites in need of remediation

Fire crews extinguished the blaze at the Comfort Inn in 12 minutes

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Victoria man identified as victim in Thunder Bay murder

Police investigating after Paul Vivier, 29, discovered in hotel

Firefighters called for technical rescue at Sooke Potholes

Woman breaks her leg while walking along riverbed

Island mayor joins fight to protect wildlife from rat poisoning after second owl dies

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes to meet with provincial, federal pest control industry representatives

San Group opens Island’s first new sawmill in 15 years

New Alberni operation first in the west coast in a long time

Lake Cowichan firefighters douse blaze at vacant shop

Sahtlam called in for mutual aid as motorhome also burns

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read