Ontario halts non-emergency surgeries as COVID-19 patients fill hospitals

Apr 22 2021, 12:40 pm

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health has ordered that hospitals must cease doing surgeries unless they’re urgent or an emergency.

The order from Dr. David Williams came down Tuesday as Ontario’s COVID-19-related hospital and ICU admissions climb to record highs this week.

“Clinicians are in the best position to determine what are urgent and emergent surgeries
and procedures in their specific health practice,” the order says.

The only exception to the rule is children-focused hospitals such as SickKids, where routine procedures will still be allowed.

The order mandates that patients should still have access to other medical services that aren’t surgery-related, such as diagnostic appointments and pain management.

Earlier this month, Ontario hospitals were told to “ramp down” elective and non-urgent surgeries as the third wave of COVID-19 infections worsened. Now, those surgeries have stopped completely.

Ontario is currently under a Stay-at-Home order that’s set to expire on May 19. Schools in the province are also closed indefinitely. The province’s seven-day average for new daily cases sits at 4,176.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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