There were more than 572,000 surgical procedures (scheduled and unscheduled) done in B.C. in 2015-16 – 40% more procedures than 14 years ago.
The population has increased 15% in that time. These procedures ranged in complexity from highly specialized surgeries performed in tertiary centres to more routine endoscopic procedures.
- There are no waits for emergency surgery.
- Between 2001-02 and 2015-16, there has been an increase in the annual number of:
- Knee replacements from 2,908 to 8,088 – a 178% increase
- Total hip replacements from 2,739 to 5,918 – a 116% increase
- Cataract surgeries from 33,078 to 55,880 – a 69% increase
- Angioplasties from 5,258 to 7,368 – a 40% increase.
- Despite increasing the number of surgeries and MRI scans, demand is increasing – putting pressure on wait lists.
- In 2015-16, the Ministry of Health made up to $25 million available to health authorities to provide additional scheduled surgeries to support the province’s surgical services strategy.
- With that investment, health authorities completed more than 8,500 extra surgeries and diagnostic procedures – such as MRI scans – in 2015-16.
- B.C. announced an additional $25 million in one-time funding to improve access to surgery in 2017-18.
- Action is being taken to address MRI wait times.
- B.C. has significantly increased the number of MRIs done in the public system over the past 14 years – more than tripling the amount done from 37,354 in 2001/02 to 151,813 in 2015-16.
- In November 2015, the Ministry of Health announced a provincial MRI strategy to address increasing waits for non-urgent scans.
- The strategy includes increasing the number of scans by more than 45% or 65,000 annually by the end of 2019 to help address increasing demands and existing wait lists.
- The addition of 16 new MRI machines over the past decade has brought the total number of machines to 25. In addition, 11 hospitals will be getting new machines over the next two to three years. This will bring the total to 36, a 44% increase.
- In addition to adding new MRI machines, health authorities have increased operating hours for their existing machines. In a number of locations, the MRI machines are now operated 24/7, allowing more patients to be served each day.