Welcome to Island Health

On August 1 st, we launched our new public website:


and a new website for medical staff:


Our website was developed in partnership with patients and residents of Vancouver Island and the surrounding regions. It's accessible, mobile friendly and flexible to help us evolve with our communities as we work towards excellent health and care for everyone, everywhere, every time.

Come visit the new sites and update your bookmarks. This www.viha.ca site will continue to be available for one month so that our staff and partners have time to update their links to the new site. You can still browse the old site but it will no longer be updated.


About Surgical Services

This page provides information on the structure, function and services of Island Health's surgical program.

Surgical program structure

Surgical Services uses a co-managed program model to plan, deliver and evaluate surgical care. This model includes an Executive Director and Executive Medical Director who share responsibility for the Surgical Program as well as other programs. They work with Surgical and Anesthesia Program Medical Directors and two Program Administrative Directors, one for Anesthesia & Surgical Services and one for the Post-Surgical Care.  This group comprises the Surgical Program Executive. It is this group that makes decisions regarding resource allocation and operating imperatives.  Surgical Executive works closely with the departments of surgery and anesthesia and nursing leaders to ensure quality surgical care.

Medical staff structure

The delivery of surgical services by physicians is organized around a medical department structure that includes departments of surgery and anesthesia at each site (Victoria General, Royal Jubilee and Nanaimo Regional General Hospitals) within the Surgical Program.  Each of these departments is chaired by a site chief.  The Medical Program Directors for Surgery and Anesthesia also function as Regional Chiefs for their respective for department and meet as Regional Committees with the membership comprised of the local site chiefs.  The departments of surgery and anesthesia are responsible for the quality of medical care. 

Within the surgical program there are a variety of inpatient and outpatient services provided.   These include:

Pain program

The pain program is a regional program that provides evidence based, interdisciplinary services to those living with pain, in order to help patients live to their optimum potential. It is under the direction of the Manager, Surgical Ambulatory Clinics and Regional Pain Program.

Learn more about the pain program.

OR booking and pre-admission services

OR Booking and Pre-admission Services are offered at all 8 hospitals providing surgery in Island Health. OR Booking works with surgeon's offices to book planned surgical procedures. Pre-admission Services helps prepare patients in advance of their booked surgery. These are regional programs and are under the direction of the Manager, Island Health OR Booking, Preadmission Services and Surgical Waitlists.

Learn more about pre-admission services.

Surgical daycare

Surgical daycare, also known as ambulatory or same day surgery, is offered at all 8 hospitals providing surgery in Island Health. Patients booked for daycare surgery are admitted, have surgery and are discharged on the same day. Daycare surgery is most suitable for healthy patients having minimally invasive surgery under anesthesia.

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Ambulatory care centres

Ambulatory Care Centres  (ACC) are offered at Victoria General, Royal Jubilee and Nanaimo Regional General Hospitals. This program provides access for patients who require minor surgical and diagnostic procedures. These procedures can be performed under local anesthetic or procedural sedation, if required. Typical procedures include: fine needle biopsies, myringotomy, colposcopy, LEEP procedures, laser treatments, minor plastics and ophthalmology procedures, and endoscopy.

Enterostomal Therapy Services

An Enterostomal Therapist nurse or ET nurse is a registered nurse who has specialized training in the care of patients with ostomies.  We understand that every client and family has unique care needs. Prior to the planned surgery, the ET nurse meets with the patient and family to review information, demonstrate the equipment, and answer questions. The ET nurse also plays a major role in patient rehabilitation after surgery.

Learn more about ET Services and Clinics.

Post-surgical care programs

Patients requiring overnight hospital stays for surgery are admitted to nursing units (wards) where they receive post-op care until they are ready for discharge. The Director of Post-Surgical Care Programs oversees this program.

Operating rooms

There are over 40 modern operating room theatres between the 8 hospitals offering surgery within Island Health. Specialty operating rooms services include trauma, neurosciences, pediatrics, orthopedics, general surgery, obstetrics, cardiac, thoracic, renal, urological, vascular, retinal and oncology services.

Post-anesthetic recovery rooms (PARR)

Post Anesthetic Recovery Room (PARR) provides care for adult and pediatric patients during the acute post-surgical phase. Island Health's inter-professional teams of registered nurses, anesthetists, surgeons, respiratory technicians, undergraduate nurses, and supporting staff care for a wide variety of post-anesthetic patients including, cardiovascular, thoracic, neurological, orthopedic, general, gynecological, EENT, urological and plastics.

Central processing and sterilization(CPS)

CPS provides on-site or off-site reprocessing of instruments and equipment for the Health Region. Reprocessing includes; decontamination; inspection & assembly; wrap/packaging; disinfection/sterilization; sterile/clean storage or distribution. Depending on the specific site they may also perform the pick-up & delivery of the reusable instruments and equipment.

Surgical information systems

Surgical information systems provides computerized program support through OR booking and scheduling programs, waitlist management, maintaining lists of procedures and equipment, and producing data that can be used for management of surgical resources.

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