ontario elective surgery

Ontario okays the resumption of elective surgeries

Nearly two months after being put on hold due to concerns surrounding COVID-19 in hospital settings, elective or scheduled surgical procedures may once again commence in Ontario.

Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Health Christine Elliot announced this latest step in the province's phased reopening plan during a news conference on Thursday.

Elliot was careful to note that the resumption of elective surgeries would be "responsible" and "gradual," with cardiac and cancer patients taking top priority in terms of scheduled surgeries.

It's up to each individual hospital in Ontario to decide when they'll resume elective procedures, but they have the government's blessing to do so as long as they meet the criteria as laid out by Elliot today.

The criteria, laid out in a new reopening framework document called A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic, include "ensuring that the hospital and its region" have a stable number of COVID-19 cases, a stable supply of personal protective equipment and medications, adequate staffing and an adequate capacity of inpatient and ICU beds, among other things.

"Delaying scheduled surgeries was one of the toughest decisions we had to make as we responded to the growing threat of COVID-19," said Elliott in a release from the provincial government on Thursday.

"However, it was imperative to ensure our readiness to protect the health and wellbeing of Ontarians as we planned for a worst-case scenario," she continued.

"Due to the collective efforts of everyone to stop the spread of this virus, we are now in a position where we can begin to plan for ramping up surgeries."

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