Campbellford Memorial Hospital (CMH), Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS), Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH), Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) and Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) have now received formal approval from Ontario Health (OH) to move forward with a regional plan to begin resuming non-urgent surgeries, procedures and tests.
On March 19, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, the government of Ontario directed all acute care hospitals to ramp down elective surgeries and non-urgent activities in order to preserve system capacity to deal effectively with COVID-19.
With provincial approval now received to proceed, the five partner hospitals will implement a staged plan beginning in early June that will allow each hospital to increase and decrease the amount of non-urgent care provided as circumstances allow, according to a press release.
Non-urgent care at each hospital will be resumed in a gradual, phased manner. It will be necessary to prioritize the most urgent patients, and at times, hospitals may need to scale back on non-urgent care volumes again as COVID-19 activity in the region fluctuates.
As activity increases the hospitals, in partner with local health officials, will carefully monitor the level of disease activity in communities and region.
“We will also be monitoring the sustainability of our supply chains, volumes of activity at each hospital, and the capacity of our community partners to support acute care, working together to meet the needs of our patients while keeping everyone safe,” says the press release.
Patients’ clinical urgency and health status will continue to be monitored while patients wait for their surgery, procedure or test.
“As the ramp-up begins at each hospital, some patients will need to be prioritized while others will continue to wait. We are working hard to resume non-urgent care as quickly as possible.”
Patients should continue to communicate with their physician’s office while they wait for their surgery, procedure or test to be rescheduled.
“If you are a patient waiting for non-urgent hospital care and your symptoms change during this time, please let your doctor know.”
“We appreciate that this time has been difficult for patients awaiting surgeries and other procedures, and we’re looking forward to gradually and thoughtfully resuming these services,” says Kelly Isfan, president and CEO of RMH.
“We remain committed to the safety of our patients and team, and will continually assess our resources and capacity, to ensure we can meet the needs of community members awaiting their previously postponed procedures, and handle any potential increase in patients with COVID-19 who require our care.”