Alberta Health Services has cancelled all non-urgent surgeries and procedures in facilities across the province in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is a necessary step to ensure the health-care system can sustain its pandemic response,and be able to respond to emergencies,” AHS said on its website.
Emergency surgery and scheduled oncology and cesarean procedures will go ahead as normal.
Although her surgery isn’t considered necessary, Taber resident Belinda Williams says her Multiple Sclerosis has limited her ability to be independent.
“In 2015, my right leg decided it was not going to listen to my brain anymore,” Williams said.
“The surgery was going to be to try and lengthen my Achilles tendon to get my heel back on the floor.”
Williams says her procedure would ease a good amount of pain caused by her MS and she’s already waited more than a year for it to be done.
As for the rest of the province, AHS estimates 7,500 surgeries will be impacted across all five health zones.
“I wouldn’t want to take a bed away from somebody that needs it,” said Brad Murphy, who was scheduled to receive a colostomy on April 3 at the Chinook Regional Hospital.
“I don’t really want to go in there if they’re still having problems and there’s a chance of getting sick,” he said.
AHS urges patients awaiting elective surgery to avoid calling 811, as those in need of new appointments will be contacted personally.
As of Thursday, Williams and Murphy have yet to receive phone calls for rescheduling.