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Media Contacts

Ministry of Health

250 952-1887 (media line)


Surgical renewal commitment – weekly update

From March 16 to May 17, non-urgent surgeries — surgeries that have a target wait time of greater than six weeks — were postponed as part of the initial COVID-19 pandemic response. Urgent and emergency surgeries continued to be performed during this period.

On May 7, health authorities began calling all patients waiting for surgery to confirm that they were ready, willing and able to proceed with their surgery in a COVID-19 environment. To date 93,052 patients have been contacted about their surgery.

Health authorities resumed non-urgent surgeries on May 18 and have completed a combined total of 109,693 surgeries as of Sept. 20, 2020, of which 84,126 were urgent and non-urgent scheduled surgeries, and 25,567 were unscheduled or emergency surgeries.

Total surgeries completed by health authority since May 18:

  • 30,461 in Fraser Health;
  • 20,409 in Interior Health;
  • 6,359 in Northern Health;
  • 25,620 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
  • 22,282 in Vancouver Island Health; and,
  • 4,562 in the Provincial Health Services Authority.

Weekly total surgeries completed from Sept. 7 to Sept. 13:

Last week, health authorities reported 5,503 surgeries completed from Sept. 7 to Sept. 13. Health authorities have now verified their data and the total number of surgeries completed was 5,830.

Weekly total surgeries completed from Sept. 14 to Sept. 20:

This week, health authorities completed 6,691 surgeries.

Contact tracing hiring – weekly update
  • 88 positions have been filled this week, for a total of 235.
  • 197 individuals are currently in the interview stage, with 24 in the offer process.