“What has happened in surgeries has been exceptional.”
That is according to BC’s Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, who told My PG Now 99.7% of surgeries delayed by the pandemic have been completed.
“In addition, we increased the number of surgeries,” he said, adding BC set an all-time provincial record for surgeries in a week in late April.
In the 2022-23 year, 350,000 surgeries were performed in the province on top of 337,000 the year before.
“We hired many more Medical Device Processing Technicians, 100 more Anesthesiologists, we trained 900 surgical nurses, and we were able to meet and reduce surgical wait time,” he explained.
This is a spot of good news in an otherwise overwhelmed medical system, especially in Northern BC.
Last week, nurses and union members rallied outside of Prince George’s Hospital around two main issues: dangerous patient overcrowding and dangerously low numbers of nurses.
Some nurses at the rally had concerns around potential evacuations due to wildfires, which was nearly a reality in Fort St. John last month.
“We have plans in place to prepare for those circumstances, and we are prepared for the circumstances now,” Dix said, mentioning they extend into helping Alberta if the need arises.
He did not give any specifics to these plans, but said the province leaned on, and learned from the mass evacuations in northern BC in 2017.
Dix also said when a community is under an evacuation alert or order, his office is getting new information and updating possible plans “multiple times a day.”
“We follow [these issues] on an hourly and daily basis, and have plans prepared to support people when required.”