Beginning the day after the Victoria Day long weekend — on TuesdayMay 19 — Interior Health will resume elective surgeries that were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Interior Health is calling patients to confirm their health status and if they are able and willing to move forward with surgery. Those who choose not to proceed with their surgeries immediately will hold their spot on the waitlist.
In an effort to support as many people as possible, Interior Health will also maximize its ability to perform minor procedures that do not require an operating room, as well as day surgeries that do not require overnight stays in hospital.
Urgent, emergent and oncology-related surgeries were not impacted by the pause in surgery and will continue as priority cases.
To minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19 for patients, staff and physicians, a number of measures will be implemented as part of the surgical process:
• When possible, patients will be assessed through a virtual pre-admission clinic by video conference or telephone prior to surgery;
• Consistent screening tools and risk assessment guidelines will be used;
• Patients will be assessed between 24 and 72 hours prior to surgery and upon 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.
Interior Health said the plan is dependent on factors such as adequate supply of personal protective equipment and monitoring of a possible resurgence of COVID-19.
For more information about COVID-19, go online to https://news.interiorhealth.ca/covid-19/.