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

UPDATE: Regional District of Central Kootenay declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders and alerts

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

Work begins on new affordable housing building in Nelson

The 39-unit project is expected to be complete by July 2021

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

No passenger flights at West Kootenay Regional Airport until at least September

This is the third time Air Canada has announced changes to flight operations out of the airport

Morning Start: 180 different bird species exist in Kootenay National Park

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Friday, May 29

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Update: Deceased suspect in West Kootenay gas station stabbing only in town two weeks

Police say the 30-year-old suspect stabbed a Montrose gas station employee

Most Read