St. Mary’s to Begin Gradually Resuming Elective Procedures and Surgeries

June 5th, 2020

St. Mary’s General Hospital is working with our regional partners to gradually resume some scheduled surgical and out-patient clinical care that was postponed in March due to COVID-19.

We look forward to reintroducing these services to patients who have been waiting for care. Our priority is to proceed safely as the pandemic continues, while ensuring we have space in the hospital for any potential surge in COVID-19 patients. Thank you for your patience throughout this unprecedented time.

St. Mary’s has developed a plan to reintroduce services using a measured approach. This approach outlines criteria for prioritizing services, using an ethical framework to ensure equity of care. Our plan has been reviewed and approved by Waterloo Region Public Health and Ontario Health West Region. It is based on a province-wide approach and executed with the Waterloo Wellington context in mind.

With the Ontario Government’s revision of Directive #2 announced May 26, hospitals are now able to begin implementing their plans. Resuming services will occur gradually over the next weeks and months using a slow, phased approach. If COVID-19 activity surges, plans may need to be temporarily scaled down to treat an increased number of patients hospitalized with the virus. In addition, all hospitals have been encouraged to find ways to maintain the new and innovative means of providing patient care.

In the first phase at St. Mary’s, a small number of cardiac catheterizations, are set to proceed beginning June 3. Similarly a small number of lung, urology and cardiac procedures and surgeries will follow after June 15. Diagnostic appointments will also resume where required for this care. Over the month of June, we will continue to increase service.

Patients will be notified when their surgery or appointment has been scheduled. They do not need to contact the hospital or physician’s offices. Before your appointment, the hospital will call, conduct a pre-screening and let you know what to expect when you arrive.

Throughout the pandemic, hospitals have been delivering urgent and emergency care. We have also been increasing the number of virtual visits to provide care where possible. Virtual visits will continue through this next phase of resuming scheduled services.

The hospital remains a safe place to visit for care. Everyone is screened for COVID-19 upon entry and given a mask to wear at all times. We have implemented measures to ensure physical distancing, hand hygiene and increased cleaning of the environment to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Patients who have concerns about their health status should contact their clinic or family physician’s office for guidance.

If you are experiencing serious symptoms please call 911 or go to their nearest emergency department.