Non-Urgent Surgeries Set to Resume at Windsor Regional Hospital

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WINDSOR — Windsor Regional Hospital will begin performing non-urgent surgeries next week.

All non-urgent or elective surgeries were cancelled March 19th to prepare for a possible surge in COVID-19 patients.

The Ontario government has now lifted its directive restricting elective surgeries and hospitals in the Erie-St. Clair region are moving forward with a regional plan to safely reopen and reschedule various appointments.

About 2,000 surgeries had to be cancelled and hospital Chief of Staff Dr. Wassim Saad  expects it may take 12 to 18 months to clear up the backlog. 

"It is going to take some time to try to clear that up because as most people who have been waiting for surgery know, they were waiting before the pandemic started" he says noting the process to resume surgeries will be a gradual one.

At the earliest, elective surgeries will resume Monday, June 1, 2020.

Patients are being advised to wait for a phone call from the hospital on an update on their surgery.

"They will get a call, there is no need for them to call the hospital," he says. "In fact if they do, their call won't get anywhere that will get them a real answer. We have a list of everyone who has been postponed."

Dr. Saad  says an internal committee is reviewing the surgeries and prioritizing them.

He adds the hospital is a safe place to come to as infection control protocols are in place and the infection rate among hospital workers is extremely low.

Dr. Saad says there is not a shortage of personal protective equipment as it is part of the criteria the hospital checks daily in order to resume surgeries.  

Before the pandemic struck, Windsor Regional Hospital was performing 600 to 700 elective or non-urgent surgeries a week.