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BC Health Coalition says surgical strategy will modernize B.C.’s surgical system

Faster care for patients, better use of public resources, and opportunity to expand efficiencies to other areas of health system

For immediate release

Vancouver – The BC Health Coalition is celebrating today’s announcement of a surgical strategy to tackle B.C.’s surgical wait times.

“Today’s announcement will mean that thousands more people in BC will get the procedures they need faster, and puts our system on track to modernize to meet our needs in the future,” says Edith MacHattie, co-chair of the BC Health Coalition.

“We have long called for the province to scale up smart innovations and use existing resources and capacity more effectively to deal with wait times. The surgical strategy announced today puts those evidence-based practices into action on a large scale.”

Aspects of the provincial surgical strategy include:

  • Funding for 4,000 more hip and knee surgeries this year. Ongoing targeted funding $75 million starting in 2018-2019 and increasing to $100 million in 2019-2020.

  • Five hip and knee replacement programs throughout the province designed to support increased surgical volumes, reduce wait times, and improve continuity of care for patients.  

  • Other components include best dedicated operating room time, pre- and post-surgical support, centralized intake, standardized assessment, and ongoing evaluation.

B.C.’s wait times have increased significantly for three out of four key surgical procedures (hip replacement, knee replacement and cataract surgery) since 2010, and B.C.’s waits are now among the longest in the country.

MacHattie says B.C. has fallen behind at the expense of patients and public resources.

“The previous patchwork approach of short term injections of funding to deal with urgent backlogs, expensive and risky contracts to private for-profit clinics, and lack of system-wide leadership from the provincial government has cost us dearly,” says MacHattie. “Today’s direction rights the ship and charts a course to a more efficient, more timely approach to surgery that is patient-centred and evidence-based.”

MacHattie says today’s announcement has been a long time coming for her coalition members, and all British Columbians.


For more information contact: Adam Lynes-Ford, Campaigner: 604-787-6560 (cell) 

phone: 604.787.6560 | email: [email protected] |

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