People living on Vancouver Island will benefit from an additional 2,300 surgeries and 2,300 endoscopies per year, as Island Health assumes the leases and buys assets from two private surgical centres.
“Adding the View Royal Surgical Centre (VRSC) in Victoria and Seafield Surgical Centre (SSC) in Nanaimo into the public health-care system means that we will be able to increase capacity and reduce wait times for people who need surgery,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Our government is committed to delivering surgical care for British Columbians when they need it, including recovering from the surgical impacts of the pandemic, and bringing these centres on as Island Health facilities will help all of us achieve this goal.”
As VRSC and SSC become Island Health facilities, a broader suite of surgical services will be provided through greater use of unused and underutilized capacity at these sites. This is expected to provide a seamless experience for patients and care providers alike.
Taking over the leases and purchasing the surgical equipment allows Island Health to expand access to procedures instead of having to invest new capital resources in surgical services at hospitals in Victoria and Nanaimo. The addition of these facilities also allows more opportunity to scale surgical services and meet the surgical needs of people within Island Health. Island Health will acquire both locations for $11.5 million.
The transition will be done gradually and is expected to begin in the coming months, with an immediate focus on stabilizing current operations during and after the transition period.
Currently, the facilities perform certain low-complexity day care procedures such as plastic, general, orthopedics, urology, vascular, pediatric dental, endoscopy and cataract surgery requiring a hospital stay of less than 24 hours. SSC currently delivers approximately 2,700 procedures per year. Island Health contracts two operating rooms and two endoscopy suites at VRSC. VRSC delivers approximately 2,500 day care surgeries and 4,000 outpatient procedures per year.
“Surgical Centres Inc. have been a valued partner in helping us deliver surgical care and we are now excited to move forward with these sites under our direction,” said Leah Hollins, board chair, Island Health. “The addition of the View Royal and Seafield Surgical Centres will help us efficiently expand surgical capacity in a way that was not previously possible.”
Island Health continues to work with Surgical Centres Inc., which owns both facilities, to finalize the agreement.
“We have been pleased to fulfil our mission to increase surgical access and reduce waiting times with Island Health. Our VRSC and SSC teams have excellently cared for tens of thousands of patients,” said Dr. Mohamed Nanji, CEO of Surgical Centres Inc. “As well, VRSC is recognized as one of the finest non-hospital surgical centres in Canada. The health-care teams and legacies we’ve created at our Victoria and Nanaimo facilities will serve Island Health for years to come.”
In May 2020, government made a commitment to catch up on surgeries that were postponed due to COVID-19 and significantly increase the number of surgeries performed above pre-pandemic levels. The ministry and health authorities continue to work to fulfil that commitment to patients.
Sheila Malcomson, MLA for Nanaimo –
“People will have improved access to much-needed surgeries and endoscopies, helping them get back to their lives and their families. Today is a great step forward in our drive to make life better for British Columbians.”
Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin –
“When a child needs surgery, it creates a sense of vulnerability for the entire family. The last thing a parent needs is a lengthy wait list for their child to receive care. Through this plan, children and families will receive the care they depend on when they need it.”
- Island Health closely partnered with Surgical Centres Inc. at Seafield Surgical Centre in 2004 and at View Royal Surgical Centre in 2017, with Surgical Centres facilities successfully functioning under a surgery partnership model and as an extension of the operating rooms of Island Health’s hospitals.
- Through this partnership, over the past five years, these facilities have cared for more than 40,000 patients.
- VRSC and SSC are accredited by the College of Physician and Surgeons of BC to provide a suite of non-hospital surgical facility services, which is a defined scope of procedures.
See updates on the surgical commitment: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021HLTH0055-000513