The jump in COVID-19 cases comes as the province takes sweeping measures in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
BC Health Minister Adrian Dix said hospitals and staff are moving to prepare for an influx of patients.
“First of all, as you know, British Columbia health authorities are directed to immediately move all hospitals in the province to outbreak response phase two. This means hospitals will only undertake urgent emergency procedures and will postpone all non-urgent scheduled surgeries,” Dix said.
The minister said this will result in the cancellations of thousands of scheduled elective surgeries freeing up hundreds and hundreds of hospital beds, with hospitals prioritizing urgent patients, according to Dix.
“They are significant changes and we do not underestimate the consequences of those changes. We spend a lot of our time in the healthcare system ensuring more rapid access to surgeries and of course for all the people involved, it is is very important,” Dix said.
Saanich’s RebalanceMD clinic is home to all of the capital region’s orthopedic surgeons. CEO Dr. Stefan Fletcher says cancelling thousands of surgeries is significant.
“There will be approximately 100 patients that were having a hip or knee replacement. other surgeries, day surgeries. So approximately about 300 elective cases that are going to be affected by this. That are going to be postponed,” Fletcher said.
Fletcher while says it’s going to be tough telling patients they have to wait even longer for surgery, it’s the right thing to do.
“This is the absolute 100 per cent right thing to do. I mean it’s the right thing to do for our population. It’s the right thing to do for our patients. Nobody wants to be going into a hospital having the surgery, then ending up having to stay longer and taking up a bed, and getting unwell. So it’s the absolute right thing to do. We support 100% per centthe health authority, the ministry right now,” Fletcher said.
The province established its own health-response line at 1-888-COVID19 or text 604-630-0300. Information is available in more than 1o0 languages.
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