Gradual Resumption of Services

On March 19, St. Mary’s and other Ontario hospitals were asked to stop or reduce non urgent surgeries where possible to be able to dedicate all efforts to COVID care.

Some of these restrictions have recently been lifted. For the past several weeks, we have been working with our hospital and health system partners to plan to gradually, and safely re-open these services. For those that have been waiting to have surgery, we know that this process has been difficult and frustrating. We are grateful for your patience and support throughout; our focus has been on ensuring the safety of our community, our staff and physicians and you, our patients.

We are starting surgeries gradually so that we can ensure that we have the space, staff, medications and personal protective equipment that we need to support each surgery, as well as the care that is being provided throughout other areas of the hospital.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact us at: patientrelations@smgh.ca.

I am waiting for surgery. What happens next?

Local surgeons will begin booking surgeries with the hospital and contacting patients by phone. Cases will be booked starting with:

  1. Cancer, cardiac and other and other urgent cases, then
  2. Surgeries that were booked, but cancelled because of COVID-19, and then
  3. By using surgery wait lists.

Your surgeon’s office will call you with a surgical date. You do not need to call the surgeon’s office or hospital.

I am booked for my surgery. What happens next?

Once your surgeon has contacted you about a date for your surgery:

  1. You may be asked to attend a pre-surgical appointment with the hospital either in person – or virtually/over the phone.
  2. Your surgeon will ask you to limit physical contact with others as much as possible for the two weeks leading up to your surgery. This is to limit your exposure to illness and ensure you are healthy to proceed with your surgery.
  3. 48-72 hours before your surgery, you will be contacted and screened for COVID-19 over the phone.
  4. You will receive a time to arrive at the hospital; please do not come to the hospital early.
  5. On the day of your surgery, you will be screened for COVID-19 when you enter the hospital.

At this time, we are still limiting visitors to the hospital. Your support person can drop you off at the door of the hospital and staff will take you to surgery. Following your surgery and recovery, our staff will contact your support person by phone and take you to the hospital entrance to meet them to go home.

**If at any time before your surgery, you develop symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your surgeon’s office to let them know.**

How we are keeping you safe?

We are increasing access to surgery carefully and slowly. As part of this, we have made changes to enhance the safety of all:

  • Surgery appointments will be staggered to reduce the number of people in hospital areas at one time, in support of physical distancing.
  • Surgery spaces have been changed to support physical distancing.
  • Health screenings for surgery patients will be increased to ensure wellness and provide immediate support if needed.
  • We are still limiting visitors to the hospital at this time. We will work with you to keep your support person(s) informed of your status and to connect you with them after your surgery to go home.