B.C. is seeing unprecedented pressure on the health-care system due to a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations. However, Interior Health says there are no immediate plans to reschedule elective surgeries.
On Thursday, the province announced it will postpone 1,750 surgeries on the Lower Mainland to reduce the strain on resources.
“The reason we are taking these steps now is to support our health-care workers, especially in critical care. We need to create more resources for them right now in Metro Vancouver,” B.C.’s health minister Adrian Dix said.
Interior Health said its scheduled surgeries have not been impacted by a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
“Interior Health has been operating with our planned surgical slate over the last number of weeks. We have not had interruptions to date, although what I will qualify is where we had very targeted outbreak scenarios we did make some changes with surgery, but given our current occupancy, that has not led to changes with our planned surgical cases across Interior Health,” said Karen Bloemink, interim vice-president of Pandemic Response and Surgical Strategy.
In Interior Health, hospitals are operating at 98.1-per cent capacity and B.C. Interior hospitals are using 22.5 per cent of surge bed capacity, the highest rate in the province, according to data provided on Monday by the provincial government.
“This time of year is typically a busy time for our hospitals. We do typically see higher occupancy rates within our hospitals, and I would reassure you that we are watching our occupancy across the board on a daily basis and would be moving to make changes as necessary relating to staffing to make sure the services we need to be providing to the public are available,” Bloemink said.
There are 29 vacant ICU beds in the B.C. Interior, when factoring in base beds and surge capacity. B.C. Interior hospitals have 236 regular hospital beds available.
Four B.C. Interior hospitals are under pressure, operating at or above 95-per cent base bed capacity, including Kelowna General Hospital, Penticton Regional Hospital, Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, and Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital.
The province still has extra ventilators available, with B.C. hospitals utilizing 29 per cent of the provincial fleet; 178 vents are in use and 435 vents are not in use.
A record-high 502 people are in hospital province-wide with the disease, 161 of whom are in intensive care.
In the B.C. Interior, 32 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, including 11 patients in critical care.View link »