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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, 2020, 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, 96,087 patients have been contacted about their surgery.

Health authorities resumed non-urgent surgeries on May 18 and have completed a combined total of 116,828 surgeries as of Sept. 27, of which 89,892 were urgent and non-urgent scheduled surgeries, and 26,936 were unscheduled or emergency surgeries.

Total surgeries completed by health authority since May 18:

  • 32,327 in Fraser Health;
  • 21,729 in Interior Health;
  • 6,828 in Northern Health;
  • 27,346 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
  • 23,754 in Island Health; and
  • 4,844 in the Provincial Health Services Authority.

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

Last week, health authorities reported 6,691 surgeries completed from Sept. 14 to Sept. 20. Health authorities have now verified their data and the total number of surgeries completed was 6,989.

Weekly total surgeries completed from Sept. 21 to Sept. 27:

Health authorities completed 6,811 surgeries.

Contact tracing hiring – weekly update

Snapshot of progress:

There continues to be significant interest in contact tracing positions through both Health Match BC (HMBC) and health authority mechanisms. All health authorities are moving candidates through the recruitment process.

  • 4,438 individuals have expressed interest in total, with 2,001 individuals expressing interest to HMBC and 2,437 expressing interest directly to health authorities. Note: some candidates may have expressed interest to both HMBC and the health authorities and therefore may be counted twice in the numbers. Additionally, not all candidates who have expressed interest are qualified to fill contact tracing positions.
  • HMBC has referred 1,048 individuals to regional health authorities and the Provincial Health Services Authority as appropriate.
  • There have been 327 total hires provincewide.