The B.C. government is going to pour an extra $120 million into the health care system, thanks to surging oil and gas revenues. The money will give a boost to Regional Health Authorities who’ve been facing budget shortfalls.

Health Minister George Abbott says the cash will be used to meet increased demands for diagnostic procedures and surgeries, including hip and knee replacements. He says there will be about 12,100 such operations this year, a 152% increase in knee replacements and 68% increase in hip replacements since 2001.

Abbott says a growing and aging population, plus expensive new technologies and drugs, are placing incredible demands on the public health care system. He says the extra funding will bring total health spending in B.C. this year to a record $14.9 billion, up from $9.3 billion in 2001.