The province says it is cancelling more surgeries to make way for expected emergency and cancer surgical cases over the next few weeks as the Omicron COVID-19 variant is expected to surge in Manitoba.
Shared Health says starting Monday, some “scheduled elective procedures will be postponed.”
The cancellations affect surgeries in Winnipeg hospitals, including HSC, St. Boniface and Grace hospitals.
“While surgical capacity is not being reduced, it is being prioritized to the most urgent cases,” said Shared Health.
Those who are in hospital and need emergency or urgent surgery between now and Christmas will be prioritized.
“Those awaiting urgent surgery at home are also having their cases reviewed and may see a change to their scheduled surgery date or location as every effort is made to expedite their care.”
People awaiting elective surgery at Victoria Hospital, Concordia Hospital or Pan Am Clinic may see their surgeries postponed or locations changed. Between 10 and 15 patients per day will be affected, Shared Health added.
Surgeries at Misericordia Health Centre are not affected.
“We recognize any disruption in surgical scheduling has an impact on our patients and their families and we regret that this action is necessary. Patients who are affected by this change will be contacted by their care team directly.”
Like all provinces, Manitoba is currently experiencing a surgical backlog. Doctors Manitoba, which represents more than 4,000 physicians, estimated last week that the backlog of surgeries and tests has grown to a record 152,000 cases.
The Manitoba government announced a new working group Dec. 8 to tackle the backlog of surgeries and diagnostic tests caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has strained intensive care units, which have had to draw nurses and other workers from other areas of health care. That in turn has caused postponements and cancellations of non-COVID-19 surgeries and diagnostic tests.