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

Surrey monitoring traffic as vehicles again clog city streets

Compared with city’s 2019 weekly average, deepest volume reduction was in late March with up to 46 per cent less vehicles

Refund emails from City of White Rock a ‘phishing’ scam

IT staff work to nullify security breach in ‘classic phishing campaign’

Art’s Scarecrow Festival returns in September

Sixth annual event will be different than previous events because of the pandemic

Surrey’s top cop is keynote speaker at Surrey Board of Trade AGM

Asssistant Commissioner Brian Edwards will be on deck at Tuesday’s ‘virtual’ meeting

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Man accused of killing Red Deer doctor says he does not remember attack

Appearing before a judge, Deng Mabiour, 54, rambled about being sick and needing a doctor

Most Read