B.C.'s anesthesiologists say surgery wait list has grown faster than population
File photo. (CTV)
VANCOUVER - Anesthesiologists in British Columbia say the waiting list for medically necessary surgeries has grown to more than 85,000 patients.
The B.C. Anesthesiologists' Society said Tuesday that since 2002, surgical waiting lists have increased by about three times the growth rate of the provincial population.
The society said its research up to the end of the 2018 fiscal year shows about one-third of those who require surgery have been delayed longer than the benchmark limit.
CEO Dr. Roland Orfaly said the purpose of a discussion paper is to signal that anesthesiologists want to work with the government and other health-care providers to find solutions.
The society represents 400 specialist doctors who work at every major hospital in the province and care for about 300,000 surgical patients every year.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said the wait times reflect some of the surgery issues that took place under the previous Liberal governments.
He said the government launched its surgical plan last March and it's having some success.
“It's a big problem, and the only way to deal with big problems is to start and that's what we're doing.”
The minister said they have already seen a reduction in wait times for hip and knee replacements and dental surgery. He said there has been an overall increase in the number of surgeries and more operating rooms have been opened.
Dix said he's delighted that anesthesiologists are talking about becoming more involved in cutting wait times and the government has already been working with the group to resolve issues that have been lingering for more than a decade.