(With files by Brody Langager-MyPGNow)
A formal letter has been penned to Minister of Health Adrian Dix to have a discussion about the postponements of surgeries seen in orthopaedic healthcare.
Dr. Cassandra Lane Dielwart is the President-Elect for the British Columbia Orthopaedic Association, and said the pandemic has caused many surgeries to be put on hold.
“With the pandemic, it’s been obviously hard on all aspects of healthcare. In orthopaedic specifically, it’s led to a lot of surgery cancellations and postponements.”
In the letter to Dix, it was noted that a Prince George surgeon whose waitlist sat around 80 to 90 patients pre-pandemic, has had that number almost triple.
The letter also stated that there were 1,200 patients currently on the orthopaedic surgery waitlist in Kelowna, with many of them having waited over 52 weeks.
Dielwart said her surgical specialty is often seen as elective, but notes that it’s still very important for patients.
“Not all surgeries have been created equal unfortunately during the pandemic, and orthopaedics is not a live saving operation, it’s not a cancer operation, it’s life transforming though. It takes patients from a constant state of pain to being functional again.”
She added that Dix’s comments about surgeries being back to normal numbers within the province is only hurting her patients more.
“The problem as we see it as an association, is it’s giving some false hope. With this announcement that surgeries are back on track, our offices are getting more calls than ever asking when surgeries are going to be.”