The Kootenay Health Authority is laying off nurses and shutting down operating rooms. Doctors at the hospital in Trail voted non-confidence in the KHA because the move reverses diligent efforts of the past two years to build surgical capabilities and recruit trained staff.
Health Minister Kevin Falcon says this does not represent a cut in health care, that some categories of surgery at that hospital actually happen “ahead of the provincial average.” He said that wait time for knee surgeries has been lower in Trail than elsewhere in the province. The Minister did not respond to the claim that over 1,000 Kootenay patients face surgical wait times of more than a year.
We can deduce that a solution is to divert patients from one wait stream to another. If patients expecting heart or cancer surgery would agree to knee operations, the delays in joint replacement would lengthen. Thus, the rationale for trimming other surgical resources becomes invalid.