Nearly 100 per cent of surgeries postponed in British Columbia during the first, second and third waves of the pandemic have now been completed.
In a Tuesday briefing, Health Minister Adrian Dix said 99.8 per cent of surgeries postponed in the first wave, and 94.2 per cent of those postponed in the second and third waves, are done.
“I think it’s worth of pause by all of us to think of just how welcome this news is for patients across B.C., for the family and friends supportive of them, their care and wellbeing, and how much it says about everyone involved in delivering surgeries,” said Dix.
Close to half of operations postponed in waves four and five have also been completed.
Provincial health authorities across the province have reported more than 6,400 surgeries were performed between Jan. 30 and Feb. 5.
It’s a significant dent into the 8,025 surgeries postponed due to the pandemic and extreme weather events between Sept. 5, 2021 and the end of February.
“In that it reminds us our work is not done, these achievements demonstrate again all that is possible, of the progress that is ours to make,” said Dix.
Surgeries continue to be postponed in B.C. on a smaller scale than previous months, he added, as hospitalizations due to COVID-19 decrease, relieving pressure on the health-care system.
Last week, 99 scheduled “non-urgent” surgeries were delayed — two in Fraser Health, 92 in Interior Health, one in Vancouver Coastal Health, two in Northern Health, and two in the Provincial Health Services Authority.
In the Tuesday briefing, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said transmission of COVID-19 remains widespread in the province, and she encouraged anyone who is unvaccinated to book a first dose.
Forty-seven per cent of patients in B.C. intensive care units due to COVID-19 are not immunized, she said. There are more vaccinated people in hospitals with COVID-19 than unvaccinated people, she explained, due to statistical likelihood as the vast majority of British Columbians are immunized.