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Most postponed surgeries have been completed in BC

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 1:28 PST, Wed January 6, 2021

BC health officials say 90 per cent of surgeries postponed during the first wave of COVID-19 have now been completed.

"The surgical renewal commitment to patients is a massive and necessary undertaking to address postponed surgeries and meet the growing demand for surgery within British Columbia," said Health Minister Adrian Dix. "Our sixth monthly report tells a remarkable story of achievement in the number of patients called, surgeries delivered, operating room hours extended, waitlists reduced, and staff hired and trained."

Last March, non-urgent scheduled surgeries were postponed to ensure hospitals had the capacity for COVID-19 patients. Non-urgent scheduled surgeries resumed on May 18. 

Since April 1, the following have been hired:

• 33 surgeons

• 32 anesthesiologists

• three general-practice anesthetists

• 305 perioperative registered nurses

• 38 perioperative licensed practical nurses

• 171 post-anesthetic recovery registered nurses

• 173 medical device reprocessing technicians

Since April 1, 172 surgical specialty nurses have started their training and 86 have completed their programs.

"Everyone involved in delivering surgeries counts on each of us to stop the spread to keep our hospitals safe and our surgeries possible. Our progress, so far, in fighting COVID-19 and the remarkable achievements in our surgical renewal commitment make it clear: In a pandemic, each of us has an essential role in health care," Dix said.

The timeline for recovery of all postponed surgeries is expected to be 15 to 22 months. In 2020-21, government has allocated $187.5 million in the first year to support efforts for surgical renewal.

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