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Surgeries continue to be postponed at Interior Health hospitals, officials say

Click to play video: 'Surgeries continue to be postponed at Interior Health hospitals, officials say' Surgeries continue to be postponed at Interior Health hospitals, officials say
WATCH: Due to COVID-19 pressures on B.C.’s hospitals, hundreds of non-urgent surgeries have been cancelled or postponed, including inside the Interior Health region – Sep 22, 2021

Due to COVID-19 pressures on B.C.’s hospitals, hundreds of non-urgent surgeries have been cancelled or postponed according to the province.

“Every one of those surgeries is medically necessary, every one of those will be done but they have had to be delayed due to pressures on our hospitals,” said B.C. Minister of Health Adrian Dix, in a press conference on Tuesday.

“For the two weeks from September 5-18, there have been 798 surgical postponements (in B.C.)”

Read more: B.C. reports 759 new COVID-19 cases, 10 additional deaths

In the Interior Health region, last week alone saw 176 surgeries postponed.

“This is not a decision we made lightly, and our priority is to reschedule all patients as soon as possible,” wrote Interior Health staff in an email.

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“This allows our hospitals to redeploy available staff to other inpatient areas temporarily.”

Read more: Unvaccinated B.C. woman battling COVID-19 in the ICU dies from the virus

The province is again urging British Columbians to get vaccinated to help alleviate increasing pressures on hospital workers in hospitals across the province.

“It’s not simply a matter of continuing to ask them to do more,” said Dix.

“We cannot keep asking them to compensate for the devastating consequences created when people make the decision to not get vaccinated.”

Read more: B.C. records 1,692 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend as more admitted to hospital

Interior Health said it continues to manage a ‘high level’ of COVID-19 activity at hospitals.

Dix has repeatedly reported that unvaccinated patients are filling the beds in intensive care units.

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“As of Sunday night, 156 people were in critical care in our province with COVID-19. 138 of those were unvaccinated — meaning those people, the unvaccinated, are remarkably vulnerable right now to COVID-19 and its more serious effects,” said Dix.

Interior Health said it will continue to monitor capacity pressures and is re-evaluating surgical schedules weekly.

IHA said as hospital pressures ease, it will reduce the number of surgical postponements.

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