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COVID-19: Non-urgent scheduled surgeries postponed at Northern Health hospitals

B.C. is taking a number of additional steps to address the changing situation in B.C. and ensure the health care system is positioned to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

British Columbia’s health authorities including Northern Health have been directed to move all hospitals in the province to Outbreak Response Phase 2, as of March 16.

This means hospitals will undertake only urgent and emergency procedures and will postpone all non-urgent scheduled surgeries. Northern Health hospitals will review operating room capacity daily, to prioritize urgent and emergency cases.

The cancellation of non-urgent (elective) scheduled surgeries will be implemented over the coming days. The first steps will include a reduction in non-urgent procedures performed at all sites, and scheduling of urgent procedures in place of postponed elective surgeries.

Affected patients with upcoming scheduled, elective (non-urgent) procedures, or awaiting urgent procedures, will be contacted in coming days about their procedures.

These measures are designed to allow Northern Health to redeploy and train essential service health care providers on critical care related to COVID-19, to ensure sufficient medical supplies for patients and staff who need them most, and to increase capacity to respond to the potential for a surge of COVID-19 patients requiring acute care.

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