Patients will hear from surgeon if procedure cancelled: CKHA

Article content

With Ontario hospitals set to ramp down non-urgent procedures effective Monday, patients will hear from their surgeon if their appointment has been cancelled, says Chatham-Kent Health Alliance officials.

The hospital group issued an additional media release Saturday afternoon concerning the potential cancellations.

“(The health alliance) relies on the clinical judgment of its surgeons to make informed decisions of which cases to proceed with during ramp-down measures. Patients will be contacted in advance if their scheduled appointments are affected,” it stated.

Patients are asked not to call the hospital about their procedures. Followup questions can be directed to their surgeon’s office.

The new provincial health directive aims at preserving critical-care and human resource capacity. The temporary measure is based on increasing COVID-19 case counts and widespread community transmission in many parts of the province, as well as “extreme pressure on the acute and critical-care capacity of hospitals across Ontario.”


Story continues below

Article content

Cases have risen rapidly in Ontario due to the variants of concern, meaning that Chatham-Kent hospitals would have to accept patient transfers from other regions if needed.

The health alliance said it will continue to provide urgent and emergent services, along with the necessary programs and services, to support those procedures.

With current local demands, the hospital will maintain its ambulatory and diagnostic services.

“The direction, however, is to continue with limited ambulatory services and we will adhere to that. If local conditions change, or if the hospital is called on to support other hospitals in the region or across the province, (the health alliance) will take steps to immediately ramp down or cease these limited ambulatory services.”

Occupancy across Chatham-Kent’s hospitals must remain at 85 per cent or lower during this time in order to respond to provincial needs. An 85 per cent capacity allows 173 beds to be open for patients.

Capacity must also be accessible with a quick turnaround within hours, instead of days.

The hospital currently has capacity in its intensive care unit and plans to take a stepped approach to increase critical-care capacity as needed.

“To ensure patients across the province receive the life-saving care they need, hospitals in harder-hit areas of Ontario are transferring patients to hospitals with critical-care capacity, which could include (the health alliance),” it stated. “The province’s goal is to preserve critical-care and human resource capacity across the system.”

The hospital added the status of the pandemic is assessed daily and that information will be released as the situation changes.

News Near Chatham

This Week in Flyers