Scheduled surgeries at nine Lower Mainland hospitals have been cancelled for the next two weeks as the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 continues to rise.
The province is moving to urgent and emergency surgeries only in order to reduce pressure on hospital staff.
“Right now the need to staff surge capacity means we will have to reduce some services. We know our hospitals have room. Our critical care staff are tired and they need some relief,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said.
Scheduled surgeries are cancelled at Surrey Memorial Hospital, Royal Columbian Hospital, Vancouver General Hospital, Lions Gate Hospital, Abbotsford General Hospital, Burnaby Hospital, Richmond Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital and UBC Hospital.
The cancellations include 1,750 postponed surgeries that will be re-booked as quickly as possible.
“You will not be forgotten,” Dix said.
“You are part of our surgical renewal commitment and as soon as we are able to do so we will call and rebook your surgery.”
Lower Mainland health authorities are asking staff who are specially trained in critical care and currently working in community settings to return to hospital ICU settings on a voluntary basis.
Dix says there is room in B.C. hospitals but staff are exhausted and the move is needed to ensure surge capacity is protected.
“We are doing everything we can to fight the hardest we can to address the pandemic in B.C.,” Dix said.
“It is the time where we have to go all-in. This news is obviously disappointing for the patients and their families.”
The province is seeing unprecedented pressure on the healthcare system due to a rise in the number of people with COVID-19 in hospital. A record-high 502 people are in hospital with the disease, 161 of whom are in intensive care.
The province continues to stress if you are sick and need emergency care then you should go to the emergency room.
“Our hospitals continue to be safe and (it’s) important to go to hospital if you have a condition that needs care,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.
“Do not be afraid if you’re having chest pain, if you’re having an exacerbation of a condition that you know needs hospital care. You must go and the emergency departments are there to serve you. The hospitals are there to serve you and they are safe.”View link »