Former Fraser Health CEO Michael Marchbank speaks on B.C. health ministry’s COVID-19 recovery plan for scheduled surgeries, B.C. legislature, July 21, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. catching up on COVID-19 scheduled surgery backlog

More than half of cancelled procedures made up by June

Adding staff and running operating rooms on weekends are helping B.C. catch up on the 32,000 scheduled surgeries that were cancelled in the early months of the COVID-19 preparation, Health Minister Adrian Dix says.

Dix and former Fraser Health CEO Michael Marchbank gave their first major update on the surgery backlog July 21, reporting that more than half of the people who have been offered procedures cancelled during May and June have had their surgeries completed.

People are spending more time on waiting lists than last year, but accelerated schedules and training additional operating room staff are making a difference, Dix said. Priority is being given to people who have waited for more than twice the target wait time for their procedure.

Marchbank, appointed by Dix to oversee the recovery from the lengthy suspension of all but urgent surgeries that was imposed March 19, said the project has placed an emphasis on performing cancer, heart and neurosurgeries. Operating on weekends has been key, he said.

“If we eliminated Sundays, we would never catch up,” Marchbank said.

Health ministry calculations at the start of the project showed that it would take 17 to 24 months, assuming a 30 per cent reduction in efficiency.

During the reporting period, May 10 to June 25, the ministry calculates that 97 per cent of last year’s operating room hours were made available. With additional staff and extended operating hours, Interior Health reached 100 per cent of last year’s operating room hours, and Vancouver Island Health reached 109 per cent of last year’s total.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

WildSafeBC hosts wildlife safety clinic

The event taught locals how to be bear safe while out in the backcountry

Stag Leap sprints into summer programming

Fernie’s Stag Leap Running Co. encourages participation in virtual races and their Thursday Run Club

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

The International Snow Science Workshop goes virtual

The livestreamed event will include speaker sessions, poster presentations, and panel discussions

Twlefth annual Columbia Basin Culture Tour showcases local artists

Artists from throughout the Elk Valley will be participating in the event August 8 and 9

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

B.C. group renews call for protection of newly discovered glass sponge reefs

DFO says public consultation will play heavy role in future protection measures

Most Read