Patients who have had their surgeries postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic are a step closer to having their procedures.
Ontario’s Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, has unveiled a framework for hospitals to gradually resume elective surgeries. But that won’t happen yet.
“No hospital can proceed until the Ministry of Health alters the directive that ordered us to stand down elective type procedures and surgeries, so that has to be amended before we can move ahead,” said Dr. David Pichora, president and CEO of the Kingston Health Sciences Centre.
As for a backlog, it’s there. But according to Pichora that’s nothing new.
“We’ve had patients on waiting lists for surgeries, for MRI, for pacemakers, colonoscopies. That’s not new, those waiting lists haven’t gotten shorter over the last eight weeks,” Pichora said.
“I’m sure some of them have gotten longer and there may be some patients that we haven’t been able to see by virtual means, but by a regular visit we would have added them to a waiting list, so that’s work that we need to try to catch up on as efficiently and effectively as we can.
“Be mindful that we’re all anticipating a wave two is coming and we’ve got to be vigilant for that and expect that we can ramp down again.”
Elective surgeries have been put on hold since March 15 due to the COVID-19 crisis.