British Columbia

B.C. anesthesiologists barred from taking job action

The B.C. Supreme Court has granted an injunction to the province's health authorities preventing anesthesiologists from carrying out their threat to partially withdraw their services next week.

Full court hearing on injunction against strike threat to be heard April 18

Health authorities are seeking an injunction to prevent job action by anesthesiologists 2:05

The B.C. Supreme Court has granted an injunction to the province's health authorities preventing anesthesiologists from carrying out their threat to partially withdraw their services next week.

A full hearing on the injunction has been scheduled for April 18, to allow lawyers representing the anesthesiologists time to prepare their case.

The health authorities had filed the application for an injunction Thursday.

The authorities have also filed a civil claim that could be used against any doctor found in breach of their contract.

More than half of the 472 anesthesiologists in B.C. indicated they could withdraw service from elective surgeries the first week of April, as their labour dispute with the province escalates.

Interior Health CEO Robert Halpenny says lawyers have sent the anesthesiologists a letter advising them they're bound by contracts they have signed to provide patient care.

Halpenny says health authorities will do whatever they can to maintain patient services, but they are also preparing for a withdrawal, sending letters to 3,237 patients warning that their surgeries might have to be rescheduled.

Anesthesiologists have reassured the public that there would be no postponements for patients needing emergency or urgent surgery.