PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Northern Health is working to increase surgery capacity after the Province postponed non-urgent elective surgeries.

On May 12, Northern Health resumed surgeries across the region, and on Thursday, Northern Health CEO Cathy Ulrich said the health authority is currently operating at 70% pre-COVID-19 capacity.

During the Northern Health and B.C. Government virtual townhall, Ulrich said they are slowly ramping up their capacity. Staff are currently working to enforce new protocols due to the pandemic.

Approximately 26 percent of the people on the Northern Health waitlist have been contacted. As each person is contacted, Northern Health is asking if they are comfortable with having their surgery and then booking on an as need priority basis.

Northern Health postponed approximately 685 non-urgent elective surgeries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly 1,200 scheduled and unscheduled, urgent, and emergent non-elective procedures were completed at Northern Health facilities during the suspension of elective surgeries.