Opinion

Surgeries may be delayed but not 'cut'

Dear Editor,

Some unfortunate misconceptions have been created about the reduction of surgeries across Fraser Health and I would like to clarify these inaccuracies. (Re: "Fraser Health cuts surgeries to make budget").

Fraser Health is not cancelling surgeries due to budget. Patients that need surgery are getting their surgery. Fraser Health is working within our budget, as we should be, and acting as responsible stewards of the public funding we receive.

Fraser Health is the fastest growing region in the province. Each year, we perform more than 84,000 surgeries. Our hospitals are responsible for deciding how to manage their individual surgery budgets, and this is done by physicians who prioritize their patient caseloads; ensuring the patients who require immediate or urgent surgery go first. The reality is that this does mean elective, lower priority, less medically needed surgeries may occur over a slightly longer period of time. This is consistent with practice across the province.

We understand how frustrating it is for our patients who are waiting for surgery, and we have been working hard with our physician partners to find innovative approaches and solutions to reduce any wait list times, and improve our efficiency and effectiveness. For example, we have our Soonest Surgery Tool, which allows patients to access information that provides the names of the surgeons most likely able to perform surgery sooner than others.

Fraser Health is committed to working with our physicians to further reduce surgery wait times, ensuring patients receive the quality care they need in a timely manner.

Judith Hockney
Executive Director of Surgery
Fraser Health

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