The Province of Alberta has announced that it will resume some non-urgent surgeries as part of the government’s relaunch strategy.
Alberta’s Minister of Health Tyler Shandro made the announcement at the daily COVID-19 update on Monday, stating that those who have been waiting the longest, and the most urgent patients, will be receiving care first, starting May 4.
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“Many Albertans have had to delay important non-urgent scheduled procedures in order for us to ensure our healthcare system was prepared for an influx of patients with COVID-19,” said Shandro.
“Thanks to the measures our government and AHS have taken, and the hard work and dedication of frontline healthcare workers, our healthcare system now has the capacity to begin resuming some of these procedures. Together, we will move forward, get patients the care they need, surround vulnerable Albertans with a ring of defence and build back our province one step at a time.”
The non-urgent surgeries will be limited to areas of the province where hospital and clinic capacity is not at risk of being overwhelmed by an increased rate of coronavirus infections.
A centralized booking system has been created, and patients on wait lists will be contacted to reschedule their surgeries.
“The safety of our patients, staff and physicians will always be our priority,” said Dr. Verna Yiu, president and chief executive officer, Alberta Health Services, in the release.
“We will relaunch day surgeries in a strategic and thoughtful way and gradually add additional procedures and volumes. We will balance this relaunch with the ongoing response to COVID-19, and continually evaluate as we move forward.”
The province is also allowing some independent health professionals, like psychologists, physiotherapists, chiropractors, optometrists, dietitians, and audiologists to resume their operations as long as they continue to abide by AHS guidance.
All other existing public health measures remain in place, according to the release, including physical distancing, limits on gatherings, and precautionary measures for anyone who exhibits any coronavirus symptoms.