Ontario hospitals told to postpone non-emergency surgeries

Move designed to preserve critical care

Ontario Health has sent a memo to most hospitals ordering them to halt non-emergency surgeries.

The memo – obtained by the CBC – says it’s a move designed to preserve critical care and human resources capacity.

“Given increasing case counts and widespread community transmission across many parts of the province, we are facing mounting and extreme pressure on our critical care capacity,” says Ontario Health CEO Matthew Anderson in the memo.

Ontario has around 2,000 ICU beds. As of Wednesday night, there were 532 COVID patients in those beds. On a typical day, another 1,200 to 1,400 emergency patients are also in ICU.

Hospitals in northern Ontario are exempt from the order.

The memo also warns hospitals they may be asked to send staff to harder-hit areas.