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

Overnight shutdown of Highway 1 at McKenzie interchange for sign installation

Traffic will be impacted in both directions, detour available

Wildfire smoke expected to blanket Greater Victoria again

Conditions expected to worsen Wednesday afternoon but not approach levels reached a few weeks ago

Canadian warship HCMS Regina sails past Sidney

The vessel recently returned from the world’s largest naval exercise

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Former Victoria Royals manager celebrates Stanley Cup win

Grant Armstrong is now an amateur scout with Tampa Bay Lightning

Orange Shirt Society launches first textbook on residential school history

Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley worked on the 156-page book to help educate students

Metis pilot Teara Fraser profiled in new DC Comics graphic novel of women heroes

The Canadian pilot’s entry is titled: ‘Teara Fraser: Helping Others Soar’

Growing food sovereignty at Klemtu

Greenhouse and grow boxes help create circular food economy for Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nations

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan vows to replace B.C.’s shared senior care rooms in 10 years

$1.4 billion construction on top of staff raises, single-site work

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Orange Shirt Day lessons of past in today’s classrooms

Phyllis Webstad, who attended St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School in British Columbia, is credited for creating the movement

Most Read