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President of Kingston Health Sciences Centre discusses gradual resumption of elective surgery

Pichora talks about Kingston hospitals and the gradual resumption of elective surgeries
WATCH: Postponed elective surgeries are a step closer after province announces framework to do so.

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.

READ MORE: Kingston Health Sciences Centre urges patients to visit emergency department despite COVID-19 fears

“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.

“So in the meantime we … [are] planning at the hospital level and at the regional level.”
Ontario government unveils plan to ramp up elective surgeries
Ontario government unveils plan to ramp up elective surgeries

As for a backlog, it’s there. But according to Pichora that’s nothing new.

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READ MORE: Gananoque, Ont. man thanks Kingston General Hospital staff for his COVID-19 recovery

“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.

Surgical procedures to begin ramping back up in Manitoba
Surgical procedures to begin ramping back up in Manitoba