Windsor Regional Hospital and Erie Shores HealthCare will implement a locally developed and regionally supported plan to gradually resume non-urgent and non-emergency surgeries that do not require an in-patient stay/bed post-surgery, now that a government directive to halt these procedures has been rescinded by the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
This easing of the provincial directive calls for a gradual and incremental implementation of carefully thought-out resumption of scheduled cases. The government’s criteria for the resumption of these procedures requires “an initial focus on resuming outpatient and day surgeries and procedures only,” meaning we at this time we can only resume day surgeries that do not require the patient to be admitted to an in-patient bed following surgery. The government directive further underlines the requirement for Ontario hospitals to closely monitor human resource needs and critical care capacity to ensure hospitals do not exceed volumes and resources. In addition, Ontario Health made it clear that “hospitals that meet these criteria may cautiously begin resuming non-emergent and non-urgent surgeries and procedures that are not expected to require inpatient resources, working closely with Ontario Health and our regional leadership to plan this work”.
“We will continue to work as a hospital alongside our regional hospital partners to plan to resume all surgeries as quickly as possible, but the ramp-up will begin incrementally, starting with day surgeries and surgeries not requiring bedded capacity as per Ontario Health direction,” stated WRH Chief of Staff Dr. Wassim Saad. “In the meantime, we will continue as we always have with urgent and emergent cases and hope to have more information in the days to come.
“As we cautiously resume non-urgent and non-emergent surgeries and procedures, we are working to find ways to operate beyond our standard capacity over the coming months to reduce the backlog created by this and previous COVID waves,” said ESHC Chief of Staff Dr. Ross Moncur.
On behalf of the many surgeons and our clinical teams assisting them, WRH and ESHC are asking for the public’s patience when it comes to the rescheduling of thousands of surgical procedures that were postponed over the past year. In May 2020, when a postponement of surgeries following the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic was lifted by the government, surgeons’ offices were overwhelmed with calls from patients asking about when their procedures will be booked. While we understand patients are anxious to have their postponed procedures rescheduled, WRH and ESHC are reminding patients that they will be notified directly of opportunities to reschedule surgeries and other appointments by their surgeon's office. Please do not contact the hospitals, or surgeons’ offices, about a postponed appointment. Surgeons continue to look at their cases and prioritizing who can be scheduled first.
“This will be a gradual and incremental restoration of more elective surgeries which will take many weeks, especially when you consider the volume of procedures that needed to be rescheduled and the need for pre-operative care that has been on hold,” said Dr. Wassim Saad. “Please be patient while we take the steps necessary to continue a safe, slow and incremental approach to gradually addressing the needs of all of our patients and their loved ones.”
More information on the Ontario Health and Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health directives can be found here:
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