TORONTO – The Ford government has issued two emergency orders to increase critical care capacity in the province, following an order to hospitals to reduce selective surgeries as the Govt-19 cases continue to rise.
In a press release issued on Friday, the province said it would allow hospitals to transfer patients to another hospital without obtaining hospital approval during “major uprising events”.
These mandates will empower home and community care support services organizations and Ontario Health to rehabilitate healthcare professionals and other staff to hospitals experiencing capacity stresses.
“As Ontario hospitals face unprecedented critical care capacity pressures during the third wave of the COVID-19 epidemic, our government is taking immediate action to ensure that no capacity or resources are used in Ontario hospitals,” Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a statement.
“These measures will help ensure that hospitals continue to have the provision of staff and resources to care for patients, in line with provincial-level shelter orders. We continue to work with our hospital and health partners to combat this deadly virus. I want to thank all the staff. “
Orders went into effect today and are valid for 14 days if not canceled or extended. These measures are expected to increase ICU capacity to 1,000 beds.
Following the number of COVID-19 patients enrolled in the intensive care units, emergency orders were introduced one day after all Ontario hospitals were instructed to discontinue all selective surgeries and emergency / non-emergency operations.
Matthew Anderson, Ontario Health President and CEO, on Thursday issued a memorandum to most hospitals in the province asking hospital chiefs and primary care providers to measure selected surgeries by 12:01 a.m. on April 12th.
“Today, in view of the increasing number of cases and the widespread social outreach in many parts of the province, we are facing increasing and intense pressure on our vital care capacity,” he said.
Anderson said the curve is needed to protect vital care and human resource capacity as corona virus cases and hospitalizations are on the rise amid a third wave of infections.
On Thursday, 525 people were traumatized in ICUs across the province, the health ministry said.
According to the latest data from Critical Care Services Ontario, 541 ICUs in the province are battling the disease, according to a tweet by critical care physician Dr. Kali Barrett.
Ontario’s latest modeling data, released last week, suggests that even a month-long provincial-level shelter order, which went into effect on Thursday, could see the ICU occupation reach nearly 800 by the end of the month.
Anthony Dale, president and CEO of the Ontario Hospitals Association, responded to the memo by saying that hospitals need a major overhaul of staff and resources to provide care for the large number of COVID-19 patients.
“This situation is extraordinarily serious. We ask for patience and support from the Ontario people as hospitals are being torn apart by this historic crisis. Our top priority is to ensure equal access to vital care services,” Dale tweeted Thursday evening.
Janvi Solanki, director of surgery at Humber River Hospital, told CB24 on Friday that ICUs needed more patients because they did not have enough beds and staff to maintain them all.
“We are seeing more sick patients coming in. Yesterday, our census was 56 out of 46, which is very high. There are 10 patients in what we can work with and what we can observe. Fortunately, we were able to relocate some patients and extra We were able to manage with the staff, but this is a real concern for us, ”he said.
Solanki said some patients are being transferred to ICUs in London and Kingston, Ond.
As hospital admissions and ICU numbers increase day by day, it is a worrying possibility to provoke patients.
Solanki said his hospital had set up a testing and screening program last year.
“We have set up a foreclosure and screening process in one wave, and we are now going to use the same type of screening process. We determine that days, two weeks, four weeks and so on may be delayed.
This curve still does not apply to hospitals in the Northern Ontario health region, but Anderson said they should be prepared to do so in the future if requested.
Meanwhile, specialized hospitals for children and young people are told not to measure any capacity.
“Pediatric hospitals are advised not to reduce any capacity and not to pursue programs to care for children and youth. We can ask you to do more, if necessary, to support other hospitals in your area,” Anderson said.
He added that limited ambulatory services may continue for some hospitals in low-COVID-19 areas, “recognizing that an immediate curve may be needed.”
Going forward, Ontario Health may ask available health workers and groups to support care in other areas of the organization.
Anderson said Ontario Health will continue to monitor the curve in an effort to ensure surgical capability as soon as possible.
“This is a very difficult and challenging time for all Ontarians, and we understand that postponing scheduled care can have an impact on patients and their families and caregivers.”
In March, the Ministry of Health instructed hospitals to suspend selective procedures to protect the potential of potential COVID-19 patients. The order was in effect until the end of May.
A study published in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association in September estimated that the delay in selective care in the midst of the first wave caused a backlog of more than 184,000 surgeries. It said it could take up to 84 weeks to clear.