SARNIA & PETROLIA – September 2, 2020 – Bluewater Health is rescheduling hundreds of surgical procedures that were postponed when capacity restrictions were put in place in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The public’s patience is greatly appreciated during this process.
"As we have stated previously, we are gradually and incrementally restoring elective surgeries. This will take many weeks, and likely months, especially considering the volume of procedures that need to be rescheduled and the need for proper pre-operative assessments and diagnostics necessary to safely rebook all the procedures” said Dr. Mike Haddad, Chief of Staff. "Please be patient while we take all necessary steps to continue addressing the needs of all of our patients and their loved ones. This is a complex process and cases are being booked based on multiple factors including clinical priority, need for further workup, and wait periods."
On May 28, Bluewater Health announced plans to gradually begin rescheduling elective and non-urgent diagnostic and surgical procedures as well as ambulatory clinics, after the Ontario Government lifted its previous directive restricting non-urgent services during the peak of the pandemic. The hospitals of the Erie-St. Clair West region initiated a regional plan to safely reopen and reschedule various appointments.
This easing of the provincial directive, however, called for a gradual and incremental implementation of carefully thought-out resumption of scheduled cases.
The government has mandated that hospitals reserve at least 10% of its beds for any potential surge in COVID-19 cases, as well as maintain adequate supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Critical Care bed capacity. This further underlines the need to closely monitor surgery caseload so volumes and resources are not exceeded.
Surgeons' offices are currently dealing with a significant increase in calls from patients asking when their procedures will be booked. Bluewater Health is reminding everyone that they will be notified directly of opportunities to reschedule elective surgeries and other appointments by their surgeon's office or the hospital. Patients do not need to contact the hospital, or surgeons' offices about postponed elective procedures but can be rest assured that all efforts are being done to catch up on the backlog. Surgeons continue to look at their waitlists and work with the hospital to prioritize scheduling. Should patients’ clinical conditions change or worsen, they should seek advice from their health care providers.
Bluewater Health, with locations in Sarnia and Petrolia, cares for the residents of Sarnia-Lambton. With close to 2,500 staff, Professional Staff and volunteers, Bluewater Health provides an array of specialized acute, complex continuing care, allied health and ambulatory care services. Bluewater Health’s Mission is: We create exemplary healthcare experiences with patients and families every time. For more information about Bluewater Health, visit www.bluewaterhealth.ca or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.
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