Patient prepared for operation at Cambie Surgery Centre in Vancouver, 2016. The B.C. government has contracted for surgeries in private clinics as well as adding hospital capacity to catch up on 30,000 procedures to prepare for COVID-19 cases in the medical system. (The Canadian Press)

Patient prepared for operation at Cambie Surgery Centre in Vancouver, 2016. The B.C. government has contracted for surgeries in private clinics as well as adding hospital capacity to catch up on 30,000 procedures to prepare for COVID-19 cases in the medical system. (The Canadian Press)

B.C. surgery wait list getting shorter after COVID-19 disruption

Medical staff added after wait times doubled for some

Extra surgeons and medical staff have helped to begin bringing B.C.’s surgery wait list down after it peaked with more than 100,000 people waiting for procedures due to COVID-19 preparations in the health care system.

As of Nov. 22, 90 per cent of operations that were postponed in the first wave of COVID-19 have been completed, Health Minister Adrian Dix reported Jan. 6 in the latest update on a surgery renewal plan that began in May. The total wait list has been reduced by six per cent since March 31, and 12 per cent from its peak on May 28, when 100,297 people were waiting for surgery.

The latest progress report shows that for the month ending Nov. 12, 2,233 non-urgent surgeries were performed on patients waiting longer than twice their target wait time. The wait list decreased to 88,401, four per cent below the same period in 2019 and down 12 per cent since the peak in May.

Along with regional health authority contracted surgeries with private clinics, the health ministry has hired 33 surgeons, 32 anesthesiologists, nearly 500 specialist nurses and other staff. The ministry projects that all postponed surgeries will be caught up by next summer, after an additional $187 million has been allocated to catch up.

RELATED: B.C. ‘almost back to normal’ for scheduled surgeries

RELATED: Long-term patients moved, surgeries postponed

“These are all remarkable achievements at the six-month mark,” Dix said.

Michael Marchbank, the former CEO of Fraser Health hired to lead the surgical renewal program, said calling more than 111,000 patients to see if they were ready to reschedule was generally appreciated, after the uncertainty of the pandemic. It also revealed that some patients no longer wanted surgery, had it completed or were on the wait list due to errors, reducing the list by 8,000.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Zoey Uniat is now three months old. Photo: Submitted
Castlegar baby with rare disorder progressing towards coming home

Fundraiser for Zoey Uniat has raised more than $50,000

Photo: David Dudeck
What you see …

Share your photos with Trail Times readers at editor@trailtimes.ca

A crew of 8 regional firefighters attended a house fire in Fruitvale on Friday. Photo: Trail Times
Friday house fire in Fruitvale

Three firefighters from Station 374 Trail attended; 2 from Montrose; 3 from Fruitvale

A juvenile sturgeon in a B.C. rearing facility. The wild population in the Upper Columbia is estimated at 1,100 individuals, enhanced with roughly 5,500 hatchery fish. (file photo)
B.C.’s Upper Columbia sturgeon endure long battle with local extinction

Decades of monitoring and intervention is ongoing to save the prehistoric fish

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

sdf
2nd in-school violence incident in Mission, B.C, ends in arrest

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

BC Emergency Health Services has deployed the Major Incident Response Team (MIRRT) as COVID-19 positive cases rise in the Williams Lake region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
B.C.’s rapid response paramedics deployed to Williams Lake as COVID-19 cases climb

BC Emergency Health Services has sent a Major Incident Rapid Response Team to the lakecity

(Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP say ice climber seriously injured after reportedly falling 12 metres near Abraham Lake

Police say man’s injuries were serious but not life-threatening

U.S. military units march in front of the Capitol, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 in Washington, as they rehearse for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, which will be held at the Capitol on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden aims for unifying speech at daunting moment for U.S.

President Donald Trump won’t be there to hear it

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

Most Read