The change has been made to “ensure the safety of all patients in their care,” according to a press release from the hospital.
Officials have come up with a new schedule for non-urgent surgeries performed daily in the ORs.
Under the new schedule, only 15 non-urgent surgeries will be performed daily, a reduction of four cases. The new schedule will come into effect on Sept. 24 and is anticipated to be in place over the next two months.
Only non-life-threatening inpatient surgeries will be reduced. Urgent and emergency surgeries will not be affected. Also not affected by the new schedule are outpatient procedures, as these patients return home the same day and do not require a hospital stay.
There's currently 103 ALC patients at the Ramsey Lake Health Centre.
The growing number of ALC patients requiring care at the hospital led to the postponement of 30 surgical procedures to date in September.
For the short term, the new schedule will create a more stable environment in the ORs and surgical wards, minimizing the impact of daily surgical cancellations on patients, families, surgeons and surgical staff, the press release said.
Over the longer term, HSN expects the measures will impact on the provincial Wait Times initiative which is aimed at ensuring appropriate and timely access to surgical procedures in Ontario hospitals.
Patients who are now on waiting lists for some surgical procedures will have to wait longer.
While their conditions are not life-threatening, many are suffering with chronic painful conditions which affects their quality of life and, in some cases, their ability to live independently.
“Under the current circumstances, our hospital is greatly challenged to provide patients with adequate post-surgical care,” said Dr. David Boyle, an anaesthesiologist and medical director of HSN’s Surgical Program.
“This new schedule will allow us to preserve that optimal post-operative care. It will also ensure we maintain the capacity to perform urgent, emergency surgeries which is key to a regional tertiary centre like ours.
“However, we must make the necessary investments to enhance care in the community so that ALC patients can be appropriately cared for and our acute-care system can be preserved.”
“We are taking these measures to ensure an appropriate balance of safety for all patients across our hospital system,” said Dr. Chris Bourdon, HSN chief of staff and vice-president medical and academic affairs.
“Also, in safeguarding the number of procedures booked in the ORs, we can eliminate the need to cancel surgeries daily which is very difficult and disruptive for our patients and families.”