Beginning today, Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) is reducing the number of non-emergency procedures and visits it provides “in order to maximize resources and prioritize services” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The services being reduced include elective surgeries, non-emergency procedures, and clinic visits. These measures will also allow the local hospitals to be ready to respond to any scenario, and to protect the health of staff and patients, KHSC said in a press release on Wednesday, Mar. 18, 2020.
“It is important that we protect the acute and emergency care we provide for our southeastern Ontario region,” says KHSC president and CEO Dr. David Pichora said in a statement. “I want to assure people that emergency care for traumas, strokes and heart attacks, and time-sensitive care for disease like certain cancers and for those who go into labour will continue to be provided.”
According to KHSC, the reduction of elective surgeries and procedures will also help the local hospitals to “preserve and develop capacity with regards to space, supplies, equipment and personnel” to respond to patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in need of hospital care.
Patients whose surgeries, procedures and/or clinic visits which need to be delyed will be notified by phone by their surgeon’s or specialist’s office. Any patients with questions or concerns about their care should contact a member of their care team directly, KHSC said.
“We understand the stress and worry this will cause for many of our patients and families, and we thank everyone for their patience and support as we respond to this rapidly evolving pandemic,” Dr. Pichora said. “We have caring and trained people on the front lines, and as soon as we can get ahead of the spread of this virus and slow it down, we’ll be progressively resuming regular operations.”