'You are the centre of what we are doing' B.C. health minister says to people awaiting elective surgeries

Health minister Adrian Dix and Chief provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry walk in the legislature on the way to a media conference to provide an update on COVID-19, Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Government of B.C.

British Columbians who had their surgeries and procedures cancelled as hospitals cleared the decks in preparation of a potential onslaught of COVID-19 cases will soon find themselves back on track.

"You are not forgotten — you are the centre of what we are doing," Health Minister Adrian Dix said.

"We have been planning for a resumption of surgeries ever since elective surgeries were cancelled."

There were around 14,000 elective surgeries and procedures cancelled between March 16 and April 19, while 12,000 procedures were completed. Urgent access to surgical services, which may include abortions, remain available to B.C. residents.

It’s unclear what the path for rebooking procedures will look like, but Dix offered assurances.

"I want everybody to know, who is waiting for surgery, that they are in our hearts, and in our thoughts, and, most importantly, in the work that's being done in health authorities across B.C.," Dix said.

As for the impact COVID-19 is having on hospitals, Dix said there are currently 103 COVID-19 patients in acute care, which is the lowest number all month. At the pandemic's peak there were 149 cases in acute care.

Hospital beds are at 62.1 per cent occupancy and emergency room visits are starting to reach a normal pace. On average, there used to be 6,500 visits a day, and right after the pandemic hit ER visits dropped to 3,000 a day over the province. Two days ago they got to 4,000 visits, which showed some use has returned.

On Wednesday, April 22, there were 71 new cases of the disease confirmed, for a total of 1,795 to date. Three more residents of long-term care homes have died, bringing the province's toll to 90.

There have been 1,079 COVID-19 cases that have fully recovered.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

POLL: Has your level of concern for the COVID-19 pandemic declined in the past two weeks?
B.C. is now solidly in phase 2 of re-opening the economy. Numbers from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry show we have flattened the COVID-19 curve rather successfully and new cases continue to decline, particularly in Interior Health.
This beautiful focaccia bread is a serious WOW for your friends and family and is fun and easy to make.
You may have seen focaccia edible art on instagram... now learn to make it at home
Focaccia is a type of Italian flatbread and one of the easiest breads to make at home. This no-knead bread is made in a single bowl with a rubber spatula and requires only flour, salt, yeast, water and olive oil.   Dating back to ancie

Top News