Falcon Selling Surgeries To Saskatchewan While Cancelling Operations For British Columbians: Dix
VICTORIA – The B.C. Liberal government is negotiating a deal to give people from other provinces preferred access to B.C. operating rooms while cutting surgeries for thousands of British Columbians, said New Democrats today.
“Health Minister Kevin Falcon is trying to sell surgeries to the highest bidder at the very same time he is cancelling thousands of surgeries for British Columbians and leaving them to wait longer in pain for medically-necessary care,” said Adrian Dix , health critic for the New Democrats.
In the legislature today, New Democrats questioned the Health Minister about his decision to pursue a deal to offer residents of Saskatchewan orthopedic surgeries, after forcing the health authorities to cut close to 10,000 scheduled operations for British Columbians.
“This Minister thinks it is acceptable policy to cancel surgeries in Surrey, Kelowna, Maple Ridge, Mission, and other parts of the province, and then offer the operations to people in Regina and Saskatoon,” said Dix.
The health minister is stating that 400 orthopedic surgeries could be performed under a deal currently being negotiated with the Saskatchewan government, and will not rule out making similar arrangements with other provinces.
Dix noted that, contrary to the minister’s argument, providing medically-necessary surgeries to residents outside of British Columbia will increase costs, not revenue, for B.C.’s health care system.
“Surgeries that are not performed in a timely fashion are pushed into the next fiscal year, and the postponement leaves patents needing more health services. Delays increase risks for symptoms, deterioration and emergency care,” explained Dix.
“Currently, over 15,000 British Columbians are awaiting orthopedic surgery. Throughout the province, operating rooms are being closed and procedures canceled,” said Dix.
Thousands of medically-necessary operations are not being performed this year because of B.C. Liberal health care cuts.
In August CEO Nigel Murray indicated that the Fraser Health Authority was cancelling between 6,300-9,900 surgeries. The Interior Health Authority is reducing its surgical volumes by ten per cent. 760 operations have been cancelled on Vancouver Island. Vancouver Coastal Health Authority is cutting 450 surgeries just during the Olympics.
Carole James and the New Democrats have been holding the B.C. Liberals accountable for breaking their word on the HST, and for backtracking on their election promises to protect health care, education, and other vital services.