Fraser Health cancelling surgeries in favour of imported patients?

The other day we were sitting around the Editorial Board Table pondering the news that the BC Liberals underfunding of health-care in the Fraser Health region (or whatever they call it this week) was forcing the Fraser Health Authority to cancel “elective” surgeries and close operating rooms. The point made at our table was that this move was going to be very unpopular with the doctors who work in that region because cancelled surgeries equals a cut in the earnings of the province’s doctors. And one thing the BC Liberals appear to not want to do is piss off the doctors and nurses of this province. 

So we were wondering how these cutbacks to the doctors’ earnings were going to be managed by the provincial government. And then today the answer arrived; bring in out-of-province patients who need hip and knee replacement surgery. But these patients are from other provinces, patients who have their medical procedures paid for by outside agencies, like other provinces.

Health Minister Kevin Falcon has confirmed that BC is negotiating with other provinces to have 400 medical procedures brought to the idle BC operating rooms. This importing will keep the BC doctors’ pay flowing and possibly earn some revenue for the province. Great stuff for the doctors and the province, sucks to be you if you are a BC resident waiting for a hip or knee replacement.

Maybe that Saskatchewan program that was trying to get ex-pat Saskatchewan residents to move home can add another benefit to the advantages of living on the prairies…fast access to BC health-care services.