VANCOUVER, B.C. — Premier John Horgan announced this morning that the provincial government is launching a new, four-part surgical strategy aimed at reducing surgery wait times in B.C.
Horgan announced that one of the strategy’s first components will be the implementation of five hip and knee replacement programs that will be implemented across the province. He said that the programs will address long waits faced by residents currently in need of those procedures. During the 2016-17 fiscal year, the government says that 30 percent of people waiting for hip surgery and 38 percent of people waiting for knee surgery waited more than 26 weeks.
The strategy will be supported by a targeted $75 million in funding starting this year, increasing to $100 million next year.
“For far too long, far too many British Columbians were left on waitlists instead of getting fast access to the surgery they needed to enjoy full, active, lives,” said Horgan. “We’re getting people back on their feet faster by dramatically increasing access to hip and knee surgeries.”
Two years ago, approximately 14,390 hip and knee surgeries were performed across B.C. That number is forecast to increase to more than 19,250 by the end of this fiscal year, an increase of 34 percent.
“We are embedding the innovations of the former Richmond Hip and Knee Reconstruction project into our program because it is a public health-care system solution that is proven to work for patients,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “Our strategy will not only mean people spend less time waiting for hip and knee replacements, but that we keep up to demand for all surgeries by investing in more surgeries and implementing operating room efficiencies.”
The new strategy is built on the Richmond Hip and Knee Reconstruction Project, which was in place from 2004 to 2010.