Starting today (Jan. 5), as directed by the provincial government, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) will temporarily pause all non-emergency surgeries and outpatient procedures to preserve bed capacity and maintain safe staffing levels.
RVH will continue to perform emergency and urgent surgeries and procedures, such as trauma, cancer and vascular procedures, however:
- All non-urgent surgical and endoscopic procedures will be cancelled and rescheduled at a later date.
- Other non-urgent outpatient appointments may be postponed.
- Virtual visits will continue to be offered for many exams and assessments, including cardiac, mental health and cancer.
Patients will be notified directly if this pause impacts their surgery, procedure or clinic appointment. Only those patients whose appointments are cancelled will be notified. If you do not receive a call, your surgery/appointment will proceed and closer to the date, you will receive instructions to prepare and what to do upon arrival.
“We recognize how difficult and frustrating this pause is for patients who have been waiting for surgery, however, Omicron’s high transmission rate is creating both extraordinary capacity and staffing challenges,” says Nancy Savage, executive vice president Patient & Family Experience, Chief Nursing Executive, Regional Vice President, Ontario Health (Cancer Care). “At this stage of the pandemic, it’s not only about having beds available, but also about having enough healthy staff members to safely care for the patients who need our help. This strategy enables us to redeploy staff throughout the health centre to areas where they are most needed.”
RVH’s Emergency department remains open for patients requiring urgent care, however, it does not provide COVID PCR testing. Symptomatic patients who meet the province’s new testing criteria can make an appointment at RVH’s Testing Clinic.
The surgical pause comes as Ontario is seeing record numbers of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations steadily increase, and more healthcare workers become ill or are exposed to COVID-19.