Update – Planning continues at HHS for the gradual return of services paused during third wave
HAMILTON – Yesterday the provincial government made adjustments to emergency order #2 – Memo #2 issued by Ontario Health on June 3rd
Only hospitals that meet specific criteria can resume non-urgent and non-emergent surgeries and procedures that may require critical care and inpatient resources.
HHS continues to plan for the equitable and phased return of services not requiring inpatient resources as per the initial direction issued by Ontario Health. This will take many weeks to implement.
We are required by the province to maintain our existing critical care capacity (126 ICU beds vs our normal complement of 88 ICU beds). This means that redeployed staff are still needed to support this additional capacity and may remain in this position for several weeks, or until the province directs otherwise.
In addition to our role as a regional provider of highly specialized services, HHS is also one of only four hospitals in Ontario with the expertise to care for the most severely sick COVID-19 patients requiring Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) (an artificial heart-lung equipment used as a last resort). We are also continuing to provide care to out-of-region patients requiring ICU level care.
The ramp down of critical care capacity at HHS – necessary to enable the return of services paused during the third wave – will require collaboration with the province, Ontario Health West and our partner hospitals to ensure equity across the system. For these reasons, we are not yet able to proceed with the return of services or staff to their home units. When this is able to occur, the process will take many weeks.
Patients will be contacted by their doctor if there are any changes to their plan of care. We thank everyone for their patience.
In the event of an emergency, individuals should call 9-1-1 or go to an emergency department or an urgent care centre.
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