The Vancouver Sun reports that according to the leaked document, Vancouver Coastal — which oversees the budget for Vancouver General and St. Paul’s hospitals, among other Canadian health-care facilities — is looking to close nearly a quarter of its operating rooms starting in September and to cut 6,250 surgeries, including 24 per cent of cases scheduled from September to March and 10 per cent of all medically necessary elective procedures this fiscal year.
The plan proposes cutbacks to neurosurgery, ophthalmology, vascular surgery, and 11 other specialized areas.
As many of 112 full-time jobs — including 13 anesthesiologist positions — would be affected by the reductions, the document says.
The move comes after the province acknowledged all health authorities together will be forced to cut staff, limit some services and increase fees to find $360 million in savings during the current fiscal year.
Dr. Brian Brodie, president of the British Columbia Medical Association, called the proposed surgical cuts “a nightmare.”
“Why would you begin your cost-cutting measures on medically necessary surgery? I just can’t think of a worse place,” he said.