May 19th, 2021
Hospitals in Waterloo-Wellington region anticipate resuming non-emergent, same-day procedures that are not expected to require inpatient resources as soon as feasible.
The Ontario Government rescinded Directive #2 for Health Care Providers on May 19, 2021. Directive #2 mandated that all non-essential and elective services provided by Regulated Health Professionals be ceased or reduced to minimal levels throughout Ontario. In addition, a memo from Ontario Health articulates the ongoing priority for COVID care, given high occupancy in hospitals, placing initial emphasis on resuming day procedures as it is feasible.
“Hospitals in the Waterloo-Wellington have been planning for the gradual resumption of non-emergent and non-urgent surgeries and procedures,” said St. Mary’s General Hospital President and Regional Hospital Lead for COVID Response Lee Fairclough. “We know the worry people are experiencing as they are waiting for surgeries and want to resume them as soon as feasible. We will be working together as a region to formulate a plan that balances resumption of these services with the care pressures of the third wave of COVID-19.”
Regional hospitals are still operating additional ICU beds, which means some operating room teams and other human resources have been redeployed. And although transfers from the GTA have been low during the past week, regional hospitals continue to see new admissions to acute and ICU beds from within the region, clearly demonstrating the need to be able to maintain this care.
Hospitals in the region will take a gradual, carefully considered approach to resuming procedures, said Lee. We will start with surgeries that are not expected to require inpatient or critical resources, in order to maintain the ability to rapidly respond to increases in COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations, as needed.
Patients will be contacted for any pre-operative preparation that is required and hospitals will keep patients informed as things evolve.
“As a region, we will continue to closely monitor COVID cases, and respond quickly,” said Lee. “It will take time to fully restore surgical and procedural care in our hospitals; but I am glad we’re at this point in the process.”
Regional hospitals will communicate more information in the coming days about their plans for resumption of services.
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