Vancouver – As the Omicron variant continues to contribute to staffing pressures across the health-care sector, the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is implementing a series of temporary adjustments and working diligently to ensure our patients and clients continue to get the care they expect and deserve.
“The Omicron wave has been challenging for all of us, but thanks to the extraordinary efforts of our staff and medical staff, who have continued to demonstrate an immense amount of resilience, flexibility and compassion, we have been able to maintain a high level of patient care across PHSA,” said David Byres, president and CEO of PHSA. “We are grateful for their continued commitment, and for the patience of those we serve, as we navigate these challenges.”
PHSA has activated a variety of strategies across the health authority to mitigate the impact of increased sick time. Some of these strategies include leveraging overtime for staff and redeploying staff to different programs and services based on areas with the highest need; centralizing administrative services, such as patient registration, to reduce staffing demands; and where appropriate, using virtual health technology to expand capacity.
Province-wide, across all PHSA programs and services, emergent and urgent care continues, with temporary reductions in some elective procedures. The most frequent cause for delaying elective procedures has been due to patients presenting as COVID-positive. In all cases, delayed procedures will be rescheduled as soon as possible.
We will continue to ensure patients are informed of any impacts to their care.
See Backgrounder for some of the temporary pressures and disruptions being experienced in some of PHSA’s larger clinical programs, including BC Children’s Hospital, BC Women’s Hospital, BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services and BC Emergency Health Services.
- All programs are operational and coverage remains in place for scheduled, urgent and emergent services.
- We continue with temporary rescheduling of select non-urgent surgeries and scheduled electroencephalography (EEG) services.
- All programs are operational.
- Some gynecological surgeries have been delayed due to patients being identified as COVID-positive and we are working to reschedule these.
- We are temporarily pausing new admissions to Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addictions and Heartwood Centre for Women.
- We are experiencing some delays with repatriation of patients by air transport – notably, returning patients from Lower Mainland hospitals to their ‘home’ health authorities. Delays have occurred due to a variety of reasons, including overall air ambulance volumes and poor weather.
- All cases are triaged according to acuity, with first priority always being for patients with the most urgent care needs.
- We continue to ask the public to use the 811 nurse call line, family doctors and Urgent Care Centres for all non-emergency needs to help us prioritize 911 for emergency, life-threatening needs.
The Provincial Health Services Authority plans, manages and evaluates selected specialty health care services across BC, working with the five regional health authorities, First Nations Health Authority and the Ministry of Health to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. For more information, visit www.phsa.ca or follow us @PHSAofBC.