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Non-urgent surgeries on the uptick in Northern Health as BC delivers record volume of summer operations

Operating rooms across BC continue to be busy, delivering more surgeries than ever throughout the province.

According to the latest surgical renewal update from the Ministry of Health, BC performed 134,941 scheduled and unscheduled surgeries – 6300 more when compared to the same time in 2019.

Furthermore, all 24,488 surgeries postponed due to the pandemic have either been completed or scheduled.

As of August, 12,934 urgent scheduled surgeries within four weeks were delivered – 459 of of those were in Northern Health, a slight dip from 2019-20 where 471 were performed.

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BC Health Minister Adrian Dix also noted 10,601 non-urgent operations were completed – 781 of those were located in our health authority – a massive increase from four years ago where the mark was just 305.

Year-to-date (2023-24 fiscal year), Northern Health has performed 7,054 surgeries, a decrease from the same period in 2019-2020 where 7,181 operations concluded.

“Our Surgical Renewal Commitment clearly shows the resilience of our health-care workers and health-care system,” said Dix.

“While facing numerous emergencies, we kept going and we achieved our goals. This progress report reflects the strength of our response. We’ve delivered on our commitment to patients to reschedule and complete all surgeries that had been postponed due to the pandemic and we’ve made great progress on transforming our surgical system. I am grateful to the surgical teams and health authorities for working together to deliver better surgeries and get more patients the surgeries they need faster.”

As for total operating room hours, the north sits at 6,654, the least out of all health authorities in BC – the next closest is the Provincial Health Services Agency at 12,390.

Dix also commented on progress of capacity increases within each health authority.

Northern Health plans to open additional operating rooms at the Bulkley Valley District Hospital, Dawson Creek and District Hospital along with Fort St. John General Hospital, Prince Rupert Regional and Mills Memorial Hospital.

None of these initiatives have gotten underway as of yet.

A link to the report can be found here.

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