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B.C. Liberals to cut over 6,000 surgeries

Posted by kayms99 on August 18, 2009

Vancouver Coastal Health Authority confirmed the document as genuine, but said it represents ideas only

Darah Hansen, Canwest News Service  Published: Tuesday, August 11, 2009

VANCOUVER — Vancouver patients needing neurosurgery, treatment for vascular diseases and other medically necessary procedures will wait longer for care as their health authority prepares to cut over 6,000 surgeries under the B.C. Liberals’ post-election plan for health care, New Democrats said Monday.

“This will result in thousands of patients suffering longer in pain and undermine the long-term capacity of public health care,” said Adrian Dix, New Democrat health critic.

Mr. Dix released a leaked document Monday that shows the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority is looking to close nearly a quarter of its operating rooms starting in September and to cut 6,250 surgeries, including 24% of cases scheduled from September to March and 10% of all medically necessary elective procedures this fiscal year.

The plan proposes cutbacks to neurosurgery, ophthalmology, vascular surgery, and 11 other specialized areas.

Further reductions in surgeries are scheduled during the Olympics, when the health authority plans to close approximately a third of its operating rooms.

Two weeks ago, Mr. Dix released a Fraser Health Authority draft communications plan listing proposed clinical care cuts, including a 10% cut in elective surgeries.

Mr. Dix encouraged local communities to fight to protect health care in B.C.

“I think everyone waiting for surgery is going to get bad news,” he said.

The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority confirmed the document as genuine, but said it represents ideas only.

“It is a planning document. It has not been approved or implemented,” said Anna Marie D’Angelo, health authority spokeswoman.

Dr. Brian Brodie, president of the BC Medical Association, called the proposed surgical cuts “a nightmare.”

“Why would you begin your cost-cutting measures on medically necessary surgery. I just can’t think of a worse place,” Dr. Brodie said.

Vancouver Sun


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