The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance continues to scale back non-urgent procedures.
In accordance with a recent Ministry of Health directive to Ontario hospitals, CKHA is planning a careful, staged “ramping down” of non-urgent, elective/scheduled care and procedures, as well as outpatient clinics.
The decision follows the Ministry directive issued on March 15, 2020 to maximize resources and prioritize services in response to COVID-19.
Most of these temporary closures and postponements, which includes non-urgent, elective surgeries and non-urgent services, were put in effect at 12:01 a.m., today, March 19, 2020.
Patients will be contacted in advance if their scheduled appointments are affected.
Surgical procedures will be limited to emergency and life-threatening circumstances.
Outpatient clinics at the Chatham and Wallaceburg sites will be limited to services related to cancer (i.e. chemotherapy), dialysis, infusion therapy, and fractures.
All routine diagnostic tests for conditions that are non-life threatening will be rescheduled.
All outpatient rehabilitation services will be temporarily stopped as well.
All patients who are affected by these temporary reductions will be contacted.
“We are making difficult decisions every day as the situation evolves,” stated Lori Marshall, President and CEO, in a media release.
“We know these measures are challenging for our patients, their families as well as our staff and physicians. We appreciate everyone’s support and understanding during this demanding time.”
“We are taking a careful, phased approach to this measure with safety as a first priority, both for our patients, staff members and physicians,” added Dr. Pervez Faruqi, Chief of Staff, CKHA.
“It’s crucial we build capacity within our hospital and local health system to ensure we limit the spread of COVID-19.”
In further support of social distancing, the organization is also asking all clinics and physicians in the municipality to explore virtual care as an alternative for their patients.
CKHA will continue to update the community as further decisions are made on reductions in non-urgent services.
The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit has announced the first two confirmed COVID-19 cases in Chatham-Kent. Details, here.
Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby has implemented increased measures to combat COVID-19. Details, here.
The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. Details, here.
For a list of local cancellations, postponement and further updates, click here.