VICTORIA, B.C. – Health Officials are reporting that the current number of operating room hours for surgeries in British Columbia is close to the levels seen prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Health Minister, Adrian Dix, the backlog of postponed surgeries can be cleared in 15 months after the Ministry took steps to increase operating “efficiency.”

While there is a backlog, approximately 52 percent of the patients who missed their surgeries in the spring had the procedures completed between May 18 and June 25.

Health Official estimated that, by mid-May, B.C. had lost approximately 32,400 scheduled surgeries as a result of COVID-19. Waitlists for non-essential surgeries increased by approximately 7,900 cases from mid-March to mid-May.

According to Dix, a total of 62,744 patients whose non-emergency surgeries had been postponed have been contacted to reschedule.

Dix says work is underway, with $815,000 set aside since May for recruitment.