Following a comprehensive Request for Proposals (RFP) aimed at improving wait times for surgery and colonoscopies, Island Health has identified a preferred service provider to deliver publicly-funded day surgery on a contract basis for Island Health.

Contract negotiations with Surgical Centres Inc. (www.surgicalcentres.com) will begin in the coming weeks with the aim to have a contract in place in the fall and a new facility open in Greater Victoria by mid-2016 or earlier if possible.

“Island Health has had contracts with private surgical providers since 2004 and since that time, thousands of patients have benefited from timely, accessible, publicly-funded day surgery,” said Norm Peters, Executive Director, Surgical Services and Heart Health at Island Health. “By increasing the number of surgeries and colonoscopies we perform outside hospital, we can free up operating rooms for more complex cases and reduce wait times for both day and inpatient surgery.”

Under this surgery partnership model, the contracted surgical facility will function as an extension of the operating rooms of Island Health’s hospitals, using the health authority’s waitlists and physicians. Island Health will manage the surgical/colonoscopy bookings and all procedures are publicly-funded.

Island Health issued an RFP in April 2015 seeking a surgical services partner to perform between 3,000 and 4,000 day surgeries per year over a five year contract term. The RFP also sought a contractor to perform up to 4,000 colonoscopy procedures on the south island and up to 3,000 colonoscopy procedures on the central island – all with the aim to improve access and reduce waitlists. Final volumes will be part of contract negotiations and are subject to Island Health’s needs and resource capacity.

Of three proposals received, the one submitted by Surgical Centres Inc. was identified as best meeting Island Health’s requirements. Surgical Centres has been in operation for 27 years and has six surgical facilities in three provinces providing publically-funded surgical services supporting provincial wait list reductions.

This includes Seafield Surgical Centre in Nanaimo, which has been an Island Health contracted service partner since 2004. Surgical Centres also operate facilities in Saskatchewan, Alberta and in the Lower Mainland.

“Island Health has been very satisfied with the service provided at Seafield Surgical Centres, and the Saskatoon and Regina Qu’Appelle Health Regions report to us they are also fully satisfied with Surgical Centre’s services,” said Peters. “We look forward to the successful outcome of contract discussions, and a new facility that will deliver high-quality, patient-focused day procedures opening next year.”

(Contributed)