Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) is taking a careful, planned approach to ramp down elective surgeries and other non-emergency clinical activity as directed by the Ontario Ministry of Health (MOH) on March 15, 2020.
This step is being taken by Ontario hospitals to maximize resources and prioritize services in response to COVID-19, CKHA officials said in a media release.
“We are working diligently in our planning process to respond to this directive in a safe and appropriate manner,” stated Lori Marshall, President and CEO at the CKHA, in a media release.
“Along with our medical leadership, we are in discussion on how to implement a reduction in elective procedures and non-emergency services through a phased approach.”
Hospitals province-wide are being asked to move forward with their pandemic plans and to begin making significant decisions on operations, CKHA officials say.
CKHA will use an ethical framework to guide decision-making and continues to work collaboratively with its system partners to develop capacity and to preserve resources within the local health care system, CKHA officials say.
Maintaining consistency with other hospitals is key with consideration for the needs of Chatham-Kent’s catchment area.
“Social distancing and keeping people out of the hospital as much as possible is another step we must take in response to this pandemic,” Marshall said.
“We’re assessing all non-emergency services and clinics in addition to elective surgeries that can be safely suspended or deferred for the time being. Our patients are first and foremost in mind; I want to assure our community these precautionary measures are being carefully planned.”
In the coming days operational plans in line with CKHA’s pandemic plan will be established at which time further communication will be issued, CKHA officials added.
CKHA has implemented visitor restrictions at both the Wallaceburg & Chatham sites. Details, here.
Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health, ordered various measures on Friday, March 13 to control the spread of COVID-19 and he also declared a local emergency as a result. Details, here & here.
The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on Wednesday. Details, here.
For a list of local cancellations, postponement and further updates, click here.