Scheduled surgeries will once again be postponed in B.C. starting on January 4, 2022, as a result of COVID-19 cases.
Adrian Dix, B.C.’s minister of health, says the changes are an effort to redeploy staff to help with the COVID-19 response and keep from overwhelming healthcare facilities.
“As we know from our experience in March and April and May of 2020 this means approximately in the range of 3,000 to 3,500 less surgeries a week allowing our hospital staff to prepare and to treat and support and help COVID-19 patients who will be coming to hospital in larger numbers and as well to support other activities, including immunization.”
When surgeries resume, Dix said each individual health authority will be responsible for rescheduling based on the health demands in the region.
When surgeries have been postponed in previous waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dix says a large percentage of those were completed.
“We’ve delivered surgeries to 99.6% of the 14,842 patients whose surgeries were postponed from March to May in 2020. We’ve delivered surgeries to 91.4% of the 3,321 patients whose surgeries were postponed between October 2020 and June 2021,” Dix said. “So when we say we will get you your surgeries, when we make that commitment to you, we’re giving you our word.”
This will not affect urgent or emergency surgeries, notes the government.