VICTORIA, B.C – B.C. Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, says 95 per cent of surgeries postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic are now complete.
The announcement comes after the one-year-anniversary of 32,400 non-urgent surgeries being cancelled on March 16th, 2020. Health authorities made the decision during the rise of the pandemic to ensure hospitals had space to treat COVID-19 patients.
The province began to tackle the waitlist once it resumed in May, with 15,373 procedures planned after over 17,000 people decided not to get the surgeries.
Dix says new, unused operating rooms were opened, hours were added throughout the week, and more staff were hired to catch up with the waitlist.
There are currently 84,000 patients across the province waiting for surgeries, which is a 10 per cent decrease compared to February 2020.
Surgical Renewal Progress Reports covering from November 13th, 2020, to February 4th, 2021 showed the following:
“We said we would deliver surgeries that were postponed due to the pandemic. We said we would schedule and deliver surgeries that were not scheduled due to the pandemic. We said we would change how we deliver surgeries in B.C. to get more patients their surgery faster. One year after we postponed non-urgent scheduled surgeries, our latest progress reports on surgical renewal continue to demonstrate that the commitment is real, and so is the achievement,” says Dix.
The B.C. government has allocated up to $187.5 million to support surgical renewal efforts in the last year.