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Northern Health to resume elective surgeries with new protocols

(Files by Catherine Garrett-MyPGNow)

Northern Health is resuming elective surgeries that were postponed due to COVID-19.

According to the B.C. Ministry of Health, 671 procedures were put off in the region from March 16 till May 3rd.

Northern Health is implementing plans for telephone pre-admission screening of surgical patients, where available, reducing the need for in person visits to hospitals before surgeries.

This will also include telephone assessments and consults.

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Starting today (May 12), Northern Health will begin to contact patients to book procedures and confirm if they are willing and able to move forward with surgery.

Individuals have the option to delay surgery further.

Patients who require urgent, emergent and oncology-related surgeries will be prioritized.

To minimize transmission of COVID-19 for patients, staff and medical staff, a number of measures will be implemented as part of the surgical process:

  • When possible, patients will be assessed through a telephone call prior to surgery
  • Consistent screening tools and risk assessment guidelines will be used
  • Patients will be assessed 24-72 hours prior to surgery and arrival the day of surgery
  • Surgeries will be scheduled with time to accommodate additional cleaning and infection control measures.

Patients will be rescheduled based on priority determined by their surgeon.

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