Quebec hospitals given the okay to increase surgery capacity

Surgery (CTV News)

Quebec hospitals have been told they can increase surgeries, as COVID-19 hospitalization numbers continue to drop.

Quebec Ministery of Health and Social Services spokesperson Marie-Louise Harvey said a letter was sent Friday to establishments in the network informing them that surgery levels can be increased.

In the greater Montreal area, the levels are being increased from 30 to 40 per cent to 50 to 60 per cent.

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In other regions where the levels are currently at 50 per cent, they will be increased to 60 to 70 per cent.

It will be up to the CEOs of the hospitals in question how to reallocate resources.

"The ministry is well aware that the pressure of the pandemic has placed great strain on resources on the ground for the past 11 months and that fatigue is very present throughout the network," said Harvey. "This is why the ministry understands that this could have an impact on the achievement of the new targets."

Minister of Health Christian Dube tweeted the news Sunday after noting that hospitalizations have dropped by almost 200 in a week, and they are as low as they have been since Jan. 1.

"This trend allows us to gradually resume surgeries in our hospitals where possible," he wrote.

Harvey added that "the situation remains fragile," and that "it is important to continue to respect the measures so that the situation continues to improve."

To end the month of January, the province reported that there are currently 1,136 people receiving care in the province's hospitals included 191 patients who are in the intensive care ward. It is the first time the number of people in the intensive care ward has been below 200 since Quebec reported 194 people were there Jan. 4. 

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