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HomeNewsBC health officials predicting surgical backlog to clear in 15 months

BC health officials predicting surgical backlog to clear in 15 months

Early data from the initial weeks of B.C.’s Surgical Renewal Commitment show significant progress has been made.

Health officials are estimating the backlog to be dealt with sooner than expected, predicting a 15-month timeframe instead of the original 18-24 months.

“British Columbians have made enormous sacrifices to keep our communities as a safe as possible from COVID-19,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.

“As part of this, many surgeries were postponed to prepare our health-care system for a potential surge of COVID-19 patients. In May, we committed to significantly increase the number of surgeries performed beyond pre-COVID-19 levels to keep up with new demands for surgery and complete the surgeries lost to COVID-19. ”

The B.C. Surgical Renewal Commitment was launched in May 2020 and is an extensive plan to contact patients regarding their surgeries, focus on patients needing surgery most and who it is safest for, add new capacity, hire and train staff, and complete surgeries.

The Province is releasing its first public update report on the Surgical Renewal Commitment, which covers May 18 to June 25.

* 62,744 patients have been contacted to arrange their surgery from May 7 to July 12.

* 52% of the 17,742 whose surgery was postponed, and who have been called, had their surgeries completed by June 25.

* 33,723 surgeries have been completed from May 18 to June 25, representing 91% of last year’s volume.

* Since the ramp-up period ended June 15, 100% or more of 2019 volumes have been completed each week.

* Significant focus on patients waiting longer than two times their target wait time resulted in these patients making up 19.4% of non-urgent surgeries completed during the time period, compared to 10.5% in 2019.

* 97% of the previous year’s operating hours were achieved during the ramp-up period.

* Summer slowdowns will be reduced by 52%. In previous years, surgical activity has decreased during the summer as a result of planned vacations.

* Surgery durations are back to within 6% of where they were last year.

* Since April 1, 29 new anesthetists have been recruited.

* Recruitment efforts have also resulted in the hiring of 111 perioperative registered nurses, six perioperative licensed practical nurses, 60 post-anesthetic recovery registered nurses and 35 medical device reprocessing technicians.


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