Like all hospitals across the province, GBGH has human resource challenges “which we continue to work on every day”.
With immediate effect, the Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) will begin reducing the number of elective and non-urgent procedures and operations.
The move follows a provincial policy aimed at preserving bed capacity and healthcare staff in response to rising COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant. However, urgent and urgent surgeries and procedures continue in the hospital.
“We understand that postponing surgeries and procedures can be frustrating and stressful for patients and their families, but it’s important to maintain both bed and staff capacity in the hospital system right now,” said Hospital President and CEO Gail Hunt.
“We are facing one of the most difficult times during the pandemic and we must make difficult decisions to ensure that resources can be directed to where they are most needed.”
Areas affected by reductions in non-urgent and elective services include surgery, outpatient care, and diagnostic imaging.
The hospital noted that it is working closely with doctors to determine which procedures and surgeries will be postponed in the coming weeks.
If a scheduled procedure or surgery is postponed, patients will be contacted by the hospital or their doctor’s office. If a patient has not been contacted about a postponement, their procedure will proceed as planned.
If a person has a request for a non-urgent diagnostic imaging test (e.g., x-ray, ultrasound, or CT) from their GP, GBGH asks that visits to the hospital be postponed to complete this procedure.
The hospital also plans to postpone postponed operations and procedures as soon as the provincial policy is lifted.
Jennifer Moore Hospital Communications Officer said that GBGH, like all hospitals across the province, faces similar human resource challenges “that we continue to face on a daily basis.”
Moore said the hospital has not imposed any further restrictions on visits since its Dec. 22 announcement.
“We currently allow two designated visitors per enrolled patient for the duration of their hospitalization or while GBGH remains at that visit level,” said Moore. “Of the two designated visitors, one is allowed to visit between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. each day.”