Non urgent surgeries resume at area hospitals

Dr. Singer (Custom)

The province has given area hospitals the green light to resume non-urgent surgeries and procedures - and hospitals are starting to open up Operating Room capacity in a gradual manner. Here's what is happening at Royal Victoria Regional Hospital in Barrie, Orillia's Soldiers Memorial Hospital, and Stevenson Memorial Hospital in Alliston:

RVH begins cautious resumption of non-urgent surgery and procedures

RVH has begun a safe, gradual resumption of non-urgent surgeries and procedures, as new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions continue a steady downward trend across Ontario.

The provincial government recently rescinded its directive, issued in mid-April at the height of the pandemic’s third wave, which required Ontario hospitals to pause non-emergency surgeries and procedures as a way to preserve bed capacity and allow the redeployment of healthcare workers.

RVH’s initial focus during the ramp-up will be on resuming non-urgent day surgeries and procedures that don’t require an inpatient bed for recovery. This is to ensure the health centre can continue to respond to a potential increase in COVID patients, as well as meet the needs of those COVID patients who remain in hospital. Physicians and surgeons’ offices have begun contacting patients whose procedures were delayed to advise them of new surgery dates.

The ramp-up will be gradual and cautious, with RVH planning to have up to nine of its 11 operating rooms operational over the summer, in alignment with the provincial recovery plan.

Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital begins gradual ramp up of scheduled surgeries

As of Monday, May 31, 2021, Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital (OSMH) has started the gradual resumption of non-urgent and scheduled surgeries.  This comes after the province lifted Directive #2 which took effect in mid-April as a result of growing COVID-19 cases and the added burden hospitals were seeing.   

As OSMH ramps back up surgical activity, patients requiring day surgery that do not require a stay in hospital will be the first to be contacted.  After the most recent shut down it is estimated that over 900 surgeries were delayed at OSMH. 

"This has been a very difficult year for patients awaiting scheduled and non-urgent surgeries." Stated Carmine Stumpo, OSMH President and CEO. "We appreciate the community's patience as we begin to ramp up our surgical services again."

If your surgery was cancelled please wait for your surgeon's office to reach out to you to re-book your surgery.  

Stevenson Memorial Hospital to Slowly Resume Elective Surgeries Starting May 25th

With the news from the province yesterday allowing hospitals to gradually begin ramping up non-emergent and non-urgent surgeries and procedures, staff have diligently been planning what this will look like at Stevenson Memorial Hospital (SMH). Effective May 25th, elective surgeries will recommence with the allocation of one Operating Room per day to support both urgent and non-urgent surgeries and procedures.

"We are pleased with (the) announcement from the province and have responded with a plan that is safe for our hospital and community," says Jody Levac, President and CEO, SMH. "We need to be mindful of our capacity and ensure there are beds and staff available to support critical care needs, but we are confident our plan will support both critical care and surgical needs, including some non-urgent surgeries."

Since April 12, 208 surgeries have been performed for emergency cases only. Pre-COVID-19, SMH was performing almost 300 surgeries per month.

"The Surgical Department at SMH is looking forward to providing their services to all of those who are in need and who have continued to wait patiently throughout the 2nd and 3rd waves," says Dr. Syndie Singer, Chief of Surgery, SMH. "We just want to get back to doing what we love to do in a way that supports everyone. We are optimistic that we can slowly and safely begin working through the backlog of cases due to COVID-19 while managing our capacity in-hospital."

Patients awaiting surgery will be contacted by their physician’s office to be advised of their appointment date. Information regarding preparing for surgeries is provided to patients in advance of their procedure and is also be available on SMH’s website: