Main entrance at Bluewater Health's Sarnia hospital. Photo by Meghan Bond.Main entrance at Bluewater Health's Sarnia hospital. Photo by Meghan Bond.

Bluewater Health gradually resuming elective surgeries, procedures

Bluewater Health, and hospitals across Ontario, will start allowing some elective surgeries as of June 1.

The provincial government has lifted its restrictions that have been in place since March because of COVID-19.

It's a gradual, and incremental approach with the most urgent surgeries receiving top priority.

That could include things like MRIs, CT scans, endoscopies, orthopedics, and stress testing which have been cancelled for the past two months.

Chief of Staff Dr. Michel Haddad said each specialty is being given quotas, and they'll decide which patients will be seen first based on acuity and urgency.

"We established a whole bunch of different committees that looked at our personal protective equipment supply chain to make sure we have enough supply in anticipation of more services and patient flow," he said.

"We'll also have to look at scheduling patients and enforcing the physical distancing within the hospital because we can't have full clinics anymore."

Dr. Haddad said they're mandated to keep the hospital at around 85 per cent capacity to leave space in case of a spike in COVID-19 cases.

He's hopeful they'll be able to run at 100 per cent by the fall.

Dr. Haddad said those who are waiting for surgeries will hear from their physician and are asked not to call the hospital.

In the meantime, current COVID-19 policies and procedures remain in place.

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