St. Joe's in Hamilton will begin cancelling elective and non-urgent surgeries as COVID-19 cases mount

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St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton announced Friday (Apr. 9) that elective and non-urgent surgeries will be scaled back, effective Monday (Apr. 12).

The decision comes at the directive of the province as COVID-19 case counts mount.

St. Joe’s says widespread community transmission across many parts of Ontario has made it necessary to take this action in order to preserve critical care capacity and staffing levels.

"We know how difficult this is for those individuals who are scheduled for an elective procedure, or are waiting for one," says St. Joseph's Healthcare President Melissa Farrell. "Please understand these decisions are not made lightly. We are still facing significant challenges related to COVID-19 and the need to prepare for critically ill patients is greater than ever."

Determining the urgency of procedures and what can be safely deferred will be decided by the clinical teams.

Patients who have a date for a procedure or surgery should plan to attend their appointment as scheduled.

They will be notified directly if their surgery or appointment has been rescheduled.

They do not need to contact the hospital. 

“St. Joe's has developed a strategic surge plan in collaboration with other health care organizations in our region, and we'll continue to adjust critical care and acute care beds as required, through thoughtful planning,” said the healthcare service.

They added that St. Joe's Emergency Department and Urgent Care Centre remain fully operational and a safe place to receive care.

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