Hospital begins ramping up surgeries
Collingwood General and Marine Hospital (CGMH) has received approval from Ontario Health to safely and gradually ramp-up elective surgeries, following the sudden scale down in mid-March, which provided hospitals the opportunity to prepare for and build capacity for COVID-19.
CGMH has submitted a four-Phase Recovery Plan, which will allow the hospital to safely start procedures that have been put on hold. At present, surgeon’s offices are working to re-book patients in the coming weeks and months, as the next phases of the recovery plan are approved.
“We are truly grateful for the patience of our community, but the time has now come to begin commencing our measured ramp up of surgical procedures over the next few weeks and months. We will do so in a way that is safe for both our patients and employees, and will monitor the situation very closely,” said hospital president and CEO Norah Holder.
The provincial government has set-out strict criteria that hospitals must maintain during their ramp-up. The number of COVID-19 cases in the region and in the hospital must remain manageable. Hospitals must ensure they have enough personal protective equipment, medication, staff and community services to care for recovering patients, and occupancy rates can’t exceed 85 per cent.
Throughout the pandemic, CGMH’s Emergency Department has remained open to the community for anyone requiring acute service, and one OR has remained open to care for urgent emergency cases and urgent endoscopy procedures. Additionally, CGMH has just finished establishing a 25-bed Alternate Health Facility (AHF) at the Collingwood Legion, which will open and care for COVID-19 positive patients, only if the need arises in our community in the coming months.
“We ask our community to remain patient. We understand this has been a long wait, and it will take quite a while before the backlog of cases are cleared, but this ramp up is designed to move our community through the hospital in a safe and effective manner,” said Dr. Michael Lisi, CGMH Chief of Staff.
Additionally, there are many new processes and procedures in place in the hospital now that will remain into the foreseeable future. Patients will continue to be screened upon entry; wear masks as they move through the hospital and many will be requested to have a COVID test and self-isolate, prior to surgery. The hospital has enhanced infection prevention and control measures in place, enhanced cleaning and some of the physical space has been changed to allow for new processes. At this time, visitor restrictions remain in place.