Northern Health surgeries suspended

Non-urgent scheduled surgeries have postponed - in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This means hospitals will undertake only urgent and emergency procedures and will postpone all non-urgent scheduled surgeries. Northern Health hospitals will review operating-room capacity daily, to prioritize urgent and emergency cases.” The cancellation of non-urgent (elective) scheduled surgeries will be implemented over the coming days. First steps will include a reduction in non-urgent procedures performed at all sites, and scheduling of urgent procedures in place of postponed elective surgeries.

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“Affected patients with upcoming scheduled, elective (non-urgent) procedures, or awaiting urgent procedures, will be contacted in coming days about their procedures.”

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, noted themeasures will assist hospitals to redeploy and train essential service health-care providers on critical care related to COVID-19 to ensure sufficient medical supplies for patients and staff who need them most.

“To further increase capacity to respond to the potential for a surge of COVID-19 patients requiring acute care. We have worked with the College of Pharmacists to advise pharmacies to provide patients with a prescription refill or an emergency supply of their medications if needed. This will give physicians more time to care for patients with acute care needs. British Columbians are asked to respect this temporary arrangement and are reminded that there is no need to stockpile medication.

“To further enhance the availability of physicians for all British Columbians, the Province will provide physicians compensation for providing virtual-care services. We have also requested all health regulators to begin emergency registration of non-practising or retired health-care professionals, including professionals from other jurisdictions and the armed forces.”

“Further, we are moving to restrict visitors in long-term care to essential visits only. Essential visits include compassionate visits for end-of-life care and visits that support care plans for residents based on resident and family needs, for example, families who routinely visit to provide assistance with feeding or mobility.

 British Columbians can reach service representatives seven days a week, from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., by calling 1 888 COVID19. Information is available in more than 110 languages.

Learn More:

To view the provincial health officer's order on mass gatherings, visit:

For more information on B.C.’s updated testing strategy and self-isolation, visit:

For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit:

For the COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and planning materials, visit:

For more information and latest updates on COVID-19, follow the BC Centre for Disease Control on Twitter @CDCofBC or visit the centre’s website:

For the latest audio clips of COVID-19 media availabilities, visit:


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