TORONTO, May 7, 2020 /CNW/ - "The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) supports the Ontario government's recommendation that hospitals take a strict and highly disciplined approach to planning for the eventual resumption of elective surgeries and other scheduled procedures. Guidance released today by Ontario Health does not permit hospitals to implement a ramp up in services. Instead, it establishes a regionally based planning framework founded on strict risk management considerations to ultimately provide patients with access to needed elective services, when safe to do so, while preserving the capacity and flexibility needed to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given the implications for patients and their families, it is imperative that hospitals begin planning for the resumption of elective services. In order to provide scheduled services several measures must be in place, including adequate supply of personal protective equipment for health care workers and certain pharmaceutical products for sedation that are already in high demand, as well as stable acute care occupancy levels of approximately 85 per cent.
Ontario continues to battle COVID-19 on two fronts: while community spread is showing signs of slowing, the deadly virus continues to spread rapidly throughout long-term care, retirement homes and other congregate settings. Hospitals remain committed to supporting their health and social system partners, augmenting efforts already underway to prevent unnecessary harm and loss of life in these settings. In addition to humanitarian concerns, which are paramount, until the number of outbreaks in these settings is significantly reduced, acute care hospitals in many parts of the province continue to be vulnerable to unpredictable surges in demand for emergency department and critical care services.
Recent outbreaks at some Canadian and international hospitals underscore the challenge of resuming hospital operations in this fluid and highly complex situation. For example, while Quebec (like other provinces) has released guidance on resuming and prioritizing surgeries, some hospitals in Montreal are now experiencing risky overcrowding and at least one hospital has cancelled all surgeries requiring hospitalization due to overwhelming conditions.
"The fight against COVID-19 must go on. On behalf of all Ontario hospitals, the OHA calls for the people of Ontario to stay the course during this pandemic by following the instructions of public health officials. Please wash your hands frequently, practice physical distancing and continue to protect and support each other, especially the most vulnerable among us, during this unprecedented emergency. Ultimately, until there is a vaccine, this is the most effective way to fight this deadly virus."
- Anthony Dale, President and CEO, Ontario Hospital Association
Ontario Hospital Association
The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is the voice of the province's public hospitals. The OHA serves hospitals through advocacy, learning and engagement, labour relations and data and analytics to build a better health system. We do this by conducting evidence-based research, proposing ideas, convening members and partners, and encouraging responsible dialogue about change.
SOURCE Ontario Hospital Association
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