B.C. surgical renewal breaks records bringing more patients surgeries they need

B.C.’S surgical-renewal strategy delivered a record volume of summer surgeries and continues to deliver more surgeries than ever throughout the province, the government announced on Tuesday.

Through the surgical-renewal strategy, as of August 2023, B.C. performed 134,941 scheduled and unscheduled surgeries, which is 6,288 more than compared to the same time in 2019, and 642 more than 2022. In addition, all 24,488 surgeries postponed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have now been completed or scheduled.

“Our Surgical Renewal Commitment clearly shows the resilience of our health-care workers and health-care system,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “While facing numerous emergencies, we kept going and we achieved our goals. This progress report reflects the strength of our response. We’ve delivered on our commitment to patients to reschedule and complete all surgeries that had been postponed due to the pandemic and we’ve made great progress on transforming our surgical system. I am grateful to the surgical teams and health authorities for working together to deliver better surgeries and get more patients the surgeries they need faster.”

This summer alone, 4,661 more surgeries were performed during the weeks of June 28 and August 27 than the same period in 2019.

Surgical-renewal achievements as of August 2023 include:

* delivered 12,934 urgent scheduled surgeries within four weeks, which is 237 more compared to the same timeframe in 2019;

* delivered 10,601 non-urgent surgeries on patients waiting longer than two times their target wait – an 8% increase compared to the same timeframe in 2019;

* operating rooms ran 234,870 hours, which is 13,702 more hours compared to the same timeframe in 2019 and 1,726 more hours compared to the same timeframe in 2022;

* hired more nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and medical-device reprocessing staff to deliver those surgeries;

* from April 2020 to June 22, 2023, B.C. hired 219 surgeons, 137 anesthesiologists, 385 perioperative nurses, seven general physician anesthetists, and 120 medical-device reprocessing technicians to deliver more surgeries;

* completed or booked surgeries by September 30, 2023, for all 24,488 patients who had surgeries that were postponed due to COVID-19 and who remained ready, willing and able to receive treatment on a planned date have received, or are scheduled to receive, surgery; and health authorities are accommodating a small number of patients who are yet to book their surgeries due to their own scheduling considerations and preferences.

“These achievements have continued, with this summer B.C. performing more surgeries than ever,” said Dix. “They clearly demonstrate the commitment of health authorities and health-care providers who have worked together over the pandemic and other emergencies to improve access to surgeries for patients and strengthen our surgical and health-care system. We have learned a lot from the past three years, and we will use these lessons learned to continue to focus on better supporting patients, surgical teams and the health-care system. We will continue to monitor our progress and, together, we will get more patients surgeries faster and better deliver surgeries to people in B.C.”


Quick Facts:

* Due to COVID-19, non-urgent scheduled surgeries were postponed on March 16, 2020, resuming on May 18, 2020.

* B.C.’s surgical-renewal commitment to patients is to deliver surgeries that were postponed or not scheduled due to COVID-19, to deliver surgeries fastest to those who need them most, and to change the way surgeries are delivered in B.C.


Learn More:

To view the 20th Quarterly Progress Surgical Report, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/SurgicalRenewalProgressReport_April-Aug2023-24.pd

To view A Commitment to Surgical Renewal in B.C., visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0026-000830

For a comparison between completed surgeries from June 25 to August 27 in 2023 and 2019, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Backgrounder_Surgeries_JunetoAug2023.pdf


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