Province asking hospitals to ramp down elective surgeries in response to COVID-19 pandemic


In response to the ongoing pandemic, the province is asking hospitals to “take a planned approach to ramping down” elective surgeries (surgeries that don’t involve a medical emergency) so hospitals can maintain capacity as the number of COVID-19 cases increase.

The statement comes from Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, regarding elective surgeries and other non-emergency clinical activity.

“Since we first learned of COVID-19, Ontario has been diligently monitoring and taking decisive action to contain the spread of this new virus and ensure the province’s health care system is ready for any scenario,” reads Elliott’s statement.

“At the same time, we must also carefully consider how to best maximize resources and prioritize services.”

The province recommends that hospitals follow three main principles as they make decisions and plans to combat the current pandemic:

  1. Use an ethical framework to guide decision-making.
  2. Prevent high risk and occult transmission.
  3. Develop and preserve capacity within our system.

The statement comes after consultation with the Ontario Hospital Association and with the support of Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

“The approach that we are taking will provide the necessary discretion for hospitals to make decisions based on local circumstances, while preserving the ability for the province to take a more prescriptive approach, should it be warranted based on evidence.”

For more information on what the province is doing about COVID-19, click here.

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