A leaked document obtained by the NDP says the B.C. Liberals could be asking Vancouver Coastal Health Authority to cut 6,250 elective surgeries by March of 2010.

NDP health critic Adrian Dix said that neurosurgery (brain, spinal cord and nerves), thoracic surgery (chest and lungs) vascular surgery (arteries and veins) as well as general surgery could be amongst the cuts with more coming during the Olympics.

“We’re talking about very significant surgeries that are being cut here,” said Dix. “People are going to have to wait longer for those surgeries.”

The plan, entitled “Proposed VCH Surgical Reductions — Impact and Mitigation Executive Summary,” suggests that the cuts take place between September 2009 and March 2010 but Dix said medical professionals knew about this beforehand.

“The health authorities knew what their budgets were 15 months ago but they were ordered not to prepare budgets or make any cuts until after the election,” he said.

“They started this process in the middle of the fiscal year.”