B.C. cancels scheduled surgeries in nine hospitals as COVID patient count jumps

B.C. cancels scheduled surgeries in nine hospitals as COVID patient count jumps
Province of BC

Hundreds of scheduled surgeries in British Columbia have been postponed as the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals reaches a new peak.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says 1,750 surgeries at nine affected hospitals in the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health regions have been delayed.

With the rising cases and increasing pressure on the healthcare system, Health Minister Adrian Dix said that in Metro Vancouver hospitals, non-COVID patients needing emergency treatment may be redeployed to Vancouver Island instead of the Lower Mainland.

“This is not a question of moving health authority staff from other health authorities,” said Dix. “However, patients that might be sent south from the north will now in the next couple of weeks be sent to Vancouver Island as opposed to Metro Vancouver hospitals.”

Dix noted that Vancouver Island hospitals remain “exceptionally” busy, however, because they’ve been doing “record numbers” of surgeries. 

On Thursday, health officials reported that there are 502 people in hospital due to COVID-19 and more than 160 of those are in intensive care units.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says pressure on B.C.’s healthcare system is “immense” right now.

The government is also asking specially trained health workers who are now in community settings to return to intensive care units on a voluntary basis to help in the overstretched system.

B.C. reported 1,006 new cases of COVID-19 and four more fatalities, pushing the death toll to 1,550.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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