Health

Hidden cost of fighting Covid-19

March 16, BC’s Health Ministry announced cancellation of thousands of elective surgeries to free up hospital beds for an expected influx of coronavirus patients. Hospitals were to undertake urgent and emergency procedures only and diagnostic procedures would be cancelled. Government regulations would lead to closure of private surgery centres as well.

At the time, there were six Covid-19 patients in more than 10,000 BC hospital beds.

Since that announcement a month ago, health authorities have been successful in clearing hospital beds.

However, the expected influx of Covid-19 patients has not occurred. Large parts of BC hospitals sit empty and medical staff is underutilized.

Updated April 20

Thousands of people with medical conditions needing hospital treatment have suffered from service denials. More endure uncertainty because vital diagnostic work is unavailable. These procedures are often critical to determine appropriate courses of treatments and the urgency of that work.

In response to criticism from medical professionals and others (like bloggers), Health Minister Adrian Dix responded:

A lot of surgery is being done in B.C. and while this is what we said at the beginning, it is still important to understand that.

Dix indicated almost 14,000 surgeries have been postponed and about 3,000 more will be postponed each week. He did not quantify other postponed medical procedures.

Almost all of the BC government’s coronavirus response has been appropriate but, after talking with health professionals, I am convinced they are wrong in not allowing many hospital services to resume.

British Columbians are not well served when 4,600 acute care beds stay empty and coronavirus patients occupy less than 3% of available space and their numbers are declining.

Updated April 20

Abundance of caution is appropriate but individuals are paying an unnecessary price. The average stay of a hospital patient in British Columbia is less than seven days. So, even if there is an uptick in viral infections, beds will clear without intervention.

Numbers are imprecise but in normal times, 10 to 12 thousand patients are in BC Hospitals. Around 1,500 of those are discharged each day and replaced by new people needing treatment.

If 75% of now vacant hospital beds were occupied and a pandemic surge occurred, the current number of empty beds would be restored within three days. Trends experienced elsewhere show there will not be a massive single day spike.

In my view, the best part of BC’s corona response is that politicians have allowed health experts to stand in the spotlight and inform citizens. Elsewhere, that’s not been the case, particularly with two crypto-fascists south and east of here.

But there is an overabundance of caution exercised in management of British Columbia hospitals. It can be easily fixed, without harming our province’s ability to cope with the coronavirus.

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6 replies »

  1. What amazed me was that for a whole month, according the MSM, we didn’t have any murders, volcanic eruptions, earth quakes, airplane accidents, wars and anything else that happens on a regular basis that is worth reporting. The only thing that was happening was a pandemic and the occasional ramblings of the ‘Village Idiot’ in Washington (remember, every village needs an idiot).

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  2. i worked in the main stream media for over 39 years as a producer, writer and director. I never saw anything like this full court press, nor the apparent aquiescence of the working press. There are many experts like the leading scientist in the field of epidemiology Professor Dr. John Ionnidis of Stanford (the most cited scientest in the literature) contesting the data and the lockdowns but they’re barely being heard.

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  3. The “eye” is of the opinion that, yet to be released information” scared the crap out of politicians. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Covid-19 is no flu, but it is also no Ebola.

    The current death rate world wide is 7% and for the ‘globalists’ is all right for billionaires to make profit.

    Given that the population of BC is around 4.5 million, at a 7% death rate; over 315,000 residents of BC will die without preventative measures.

    As it is mostly the elderly and very poor care at seniors homes, that is causing much of the death in Canada, the lack of any sort of coherent medical system in the USA has condemned many to an early grave in the USA.

    The moral to this pandemic is simply, it is be prepared and BC has been.

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    • I will start off by saying good comment Evil Eye. A frightful one at that, if those projections turned out to be close. I don’t seen it anywhere near that rate with this virus, but who knows. I hope and pray not. Good one about those big profiteering scum who will willingly make big profits from tragedy.

      Apart from the U.S. having a complete maniac in the White House and accomplice to more suffering. the population in the States compared to ours is like around 8 to 1 give or take, and then take that and multiply the variables of movement less space for movement, and more chances for contact for spread. I think those super first responders and essential frontline people are doing the best they can down there under the circumstances, especially under the reign of a complete wingnut president which makes it even tougher.

      We gratefully have our own fantastic frontline people here also doing the greatest job they can under tough circumstances. I think the negligence and stupidity of the slow political reactors in Ottawa have also created tougher situations and opened the door to even more sufferings. We shouldn’t even have this many deaths, or even in seniors home too. When I hear top health officials saying that air travel and non essential willy nilly travel around the country and inter-provincially even too this day won’t necessarily stop the spread then i get to thinking there it is right there.

      I shake my head with sadness. The bloody negligence and lying is unconscionable. The politicians most definitely are pulling the strings. I blame the political leaders the most. Coming too late in the day making tough speeches trying to cover their asses for their earlier abysmal failures, when they should have gotten on things way earlier isn’t good enough. But i guess we do what we can now and get through it. I can and do have some sympathy for our Health Officials for the insane balance they have to keep.

      But anyhow, we must now get on too a next step in all it’s hard reality and challenges. The reprehensible, irresponsible, unconscionable filthy wet market system. I say no more of it !!! We can no longer have the few putting the world’s population at risk because of these unacceptable world affecting dangerous practices. This has has too be taken care of as best as can be done, and as soon as possible, with a no burying heads in the sand approach. Tough as need be before civilization get’s a punch that could very well make Covid 19 look minor. And that I’m afraid is one of the hard truths of what we face in the future. I would guess not that far in the future if it isn’t stamped out. Reluctantly and Sad to report. But anyways enough of my ramblings.

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  4. The mortality rate refers to what percentage of those infected die, not the total population. Still a large number but not as high as speculated by the eye. See Coronavirus Mortality Rate (COVID-19) – (Worldmeter)

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  5. I am one of those people that needs a hip replacement. Was on the schedule for April 15th. been in pain for 15 months and was really looking forward to getting this done. My thoughts are mixed. I understand the reasoning for making the room at the hospitals but Dr. Bonny Henry was so good at her job all of BC did what she asked and we are way ahead of most of North America. There may be light on the horizon, my doctor called and said there is talk of my procedure changing form an overnight stay to just a full day surgery. That is fine with me.

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