Alberta resuming non-urgent surgeries and allied health services

by Morinville News Staff

The Government of Alberta says the province is ready to lift some of the restrictions on non-urgent scheduled day surgeries in regions where hospital and clinic capacity and the rate of new COVID-19 infections do not present a significant risk.

The government announced Monday it will use a “carefully controlled and phased approach” that will see the most urgent patients and those who are waiting the longest receiving care first.

“Many Albertans have had to delay important non-urgent scheduled procedures in order for us to ensure our health-care system was prepared for an influx of patients with COVID-19,” said Minister of Health Tyler Shandro. “Thanks to the measures our government and AHS have taken, and the hard work and dedication of front-line health-care workers, our health-care system now has the capacity to begin resuming some of these procedures. Together, we will move forward, get patients the care they need, surround vulnerable Albertans with a ring of defence and build back our province one step at a time.”

The top priority will be to treat patients who would be at the highest risk if their surgery was further delayed and those who have been waiting longest using a centralized booking system.

AHS will contact patients on wait-lists to reschedule procedures and the province will continue to evaluate and determine additional procedures that can resume, including short-term overnight stays.

“The safety of our patients, staff and physicians will always be our priority. We will relaunch day surgeries in a strategic and thoughtful way and gradually add additional procedures and volumes. We will balance this relaunch with the ongoing response to COVID-19, and continually evaluate as we move forward,” said Alberta Health Services President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Verna Yiu.

In addition to resuming some non-urgent surgeries, independent regulated health professionals, including chiropractors, physiotherapists, psychologists are also permitted to resume operations as long as they are able to follow Alberta Health guidance to limit transmission in these settings. This includes optometrists, audiologists and dieticians.

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