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

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

Just Posted

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

Historic Hat Creek finds novel way to keep part of site open

VIP shopping experience offers people private visit to site’s gift shop

Mobile harm reduction service making weekly trips to Cache Creek

Service provides free kits, instruction, information, and referrals to those who need it

Ashcroft food bank benefits from donation as demand increases

Community Futures Thompson Country provides much-needed cash donation

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Vancouver Island First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

Most Read