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

Smoky skies clearing throughout B.C. Interior

Environment Canada expects “widespread” improvement for all affected areas by Sunday

Penticton wildfire crew goes from Christie Mountain to Cold Springs

The team at Eagle Ridge Consulting is helping fight fires across the border

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Kiera Bourque manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

COVID-19 minimizes Okanagan Regional Library budget increase

Library adapts to pandemic fiscal disruptions

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Stranger in truck grabs boy walking home from school in Kelowna

The 11-year-old boy escaped the incident, RCMP are investigating

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read