VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – This week we told you about several cancelled surgeries at Vancouver General Hospital, something Vancouver Coastal Health says is to be expected.

But one expert says our province doesn’t have enough health professionals to help you when you’re sick.

Perfusionists run the heart and lung machines during cardiac surgeries and President of the Health Sciences Association of BC, Reid Johnson, says there’s a real shortage of these technicians in BC.

“There’s very few of them in the province and the government eliminated the program in BC that trained these folks a number of years ago. It’s only been recently that the program has gotten back up and running, so there’s a critical shortage for these folks,” notes Johnson.

He adds many who are graduating in these technical programs are being lured to other provinces and countries.

“They’re interviewing in provinces other than British Columbia because they can make way more money in other jurisdictions than they can make in BC. There’s also not the same shortages necessarily as there are in BC so people’s work life is a lot more balanced.”

Johnson believes the only way BC can compete is to compensate these technicians better as demand keeps growing.