Patient prepared for operation at Cambie Surgery Centre in Vancouver, 2016. The B.C. government has contracted for surgeries in private clinics as well as adding hospital capacity to catch up on 30,000 procedures to prepare for COVID-19 cases in the medical system. (The Canadian Press)

Patient prepared for operation at Cambie Surgery Centre in Vancouver, 2016. The B.C. government has contracted for surgeries in private clinics as well as adding hospital capacity to catch up on 30,000 procedures to prepare for COVID-19 cases in the medical system. (The Canadian Press)

B.C. surgery wait list getting shorter after COVID-19 disruption

Medical staff added after wait times doubled for some

Extra surgeons and medical staff have helped to begin bringing B.C.’s surgery wait list down after it peaked with more than 100,000 people waiting for procedures due to COVID-19 preparations in the health care system.

As of Nov. 22, 90 per cent of operations that were postponed in the first wave of COVID-19 have been completed, Health Minister Adrian Dix reported Jan. 6 in the latest update on a surgery renewal plan that began in May. The total wait list has been reduced by six per cent since March 31, and 12 per cent from its peak on May 28, when 100,297 people were waiting for surgery.

The latest progress report shows that for the month ending Nov. 12, 2,233 non-urgent surgeries were performed on patients waiting longer than twice their target wait time. The wait list decreased to 88,401, four per cent below the same period in 2019 and down 12 per cent since the peak in May.

Along with regional health authority contracted surgeries with private clinics, the health ministry has hired 33 surgeons, 32 anesthesiologists, nearly 500 specialist nurses and other staff. The ministry projects that all postponed surgeries will be caught up by next summer, after an additional $187 million has been allocated to catch up.

RELATED: B.C. ‘almost back to normal’ for scheduled surgeries

RELATED: Long-term patients moved, surgeries postponed

“These are all remarkable achievements at the six-month mark,” Dix said.

Michael Marchbank, the former CEO of Fraser Health hired to lead the surgical renewal program, said calling more than 111,000 patients to see if they were ready to reschedule was generally appreciated, after the uncertainty of the pandemic. It also revealed that some patients no longer wanted surgery, had it completed or were on the wait list due to errors, reducing the list by 8,000.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A mallard duck swims through Salish Pond in Chilliwack on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
WEATHER: Snow, rain in forecast for Fraser Valley

Fraser Valley has been treated to more than a week of mostly sunny weather, but it’s about to end

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment, hits milestones in break-out year

Cory Silbernagel makes his acceptance speech after receiving the Community Advocate award during the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce 2020 Chilliwack Champion awards on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce)
Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce awards recognize businesses, individuals after unprecedented year

‘Positive acts’ honoured during Business Excellence Awards - Chilliwack Champions Edition

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Surrey Fire Service responded to a fire in the industrial area of 192nd street and 54th Avenue early Saturday morning (Jan. 23, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews respond to fire in industrial area

Fire happened early Saturday morning

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Most Read