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Over 200 surgeries postponed in Island Health due to surge in COVID-19 cases

B.C.’s Health Minister says a significant number of elective surgeries have been postponed since the start of the new year.

Prior to Christmas, Health Minister Adrian Dix said that a surge in cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 required non-urgent surgeries to be postponed.

Dix says it was being done in response to a significant issue with staffing.

From Jan. 2 to 8, he says more than 500 elective surgeries were cancelled, including more than 200 in the Island Health region.

“Health authorities postponed 530 non-urgent scheduled surgeries,” Dix explains, “with 75 in Fraser Health, 35 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 3 in Northern Health, 162 in Interior Health, 234 in Island Health.”

He says each of those surgeries will be rescheduled.

The Health Minister also reported that from Jan. 3 to 9, more than 4,900 shifts by staff in the Island Health region were lost due to illness.

He says that is the total number of shifts lost, not the actual number of health care workers who became ill.

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