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The Province of British Columbia has done an admirable job reducing wait times for almost every form of surgery. An exception is bariatric surgery procedures, which the province has limited to 400 procedures annually for many years, without additional funding. Other provinces fund as many as five times the number of procedures per capita. There are now more than 2,500 patients waiting several years for this life-saving surgery. British Columbians with obesity face wait times for surgery that are longer than almost any other provincial surgical wait list. People with obesity deserve the same access to care as anyone else in the province.

For people with obesity, bariatric surgery is the most effective means of addressing the health risks associated with this disease, including hypertension, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, obstructive sleep apnea, cancer and early fatality among at-risk British Columbians.

We, the undersigned, are patients, family members and advocates for people with obesity. We believe that people with obesity deserve the same timely access to necessary medical treatments that the Government of British Columbia is committed to providing for all people.

We ask the Province of British Columbia to increase the number of bariatric procedures funded annually.