Anesthesiologists' job action put on hold


The BC Anesthesiologists' Society will have to wait until April 20 to find out if members can withdraw some of their services from hospitals.

The BCAS had planned to withdraw services for elective procedures or surgeries starting on April 2 as a protest against a shortage of anesthesiologists in the province and issues around funding.

But health authorities requested an injunction and the BC Supreme Court told the BCAS it could not withdraw services until a decision is made on April 20.

St. Joseph's General Hospital president and CEO Jane Murphy said no elective procedures or surgeries were scheduled at St. Joe's from April 2 to 16 as the hospital takes spring break during that time.

Murphy said St. Joe's has six anesthesiologists, and their department had planned to take part in the province-wide withdrawal of elective surgeries. She said she's hopeful a resolution will be reached soon with no withdrawal of services.

If the BC Supreme Court rules in favour of the BCAS, Murphy said St. Joe's will have a plan in place.

"We are planning very carefully in the event that the withdrawal of services does proceed as far as taking appropriate steps to prioritize surgeries, both for those that might need to be cancelled and thinking about when they can be rescheduled," explained Murphy.





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