Surgery delays continue in Nova Scotia amid hospital bed crunch, staffing shortages

Hospital bed shortages and staff shortages continue to delay operations in Nova Scotia.

Busy emergency rooms and the demand for hospital beds across the province are causing delays in supplies, including some surgical services, Nova Scotia Health said on its website.

“The personnel challenges also remain, including the foster positions made worse by the pandemic,” the statement said. “Unfortunately, this pressure means we have to continue to delay some operations that require hospitalization and postpone some non-urgent procedures in some areas.”

In Nova Scotia’s health and long-term care system, around 2,100 full-time positions are scarce. At the end of September, government recruiters were looking for 172 doctors, 235 licensed practical nurses, 1,086 registered nurses, 12 nurses, and 1,400 resident nurses.

In the press release on Friday, the NSH announced. In the central zone, 15 OR beds remain closed, while employees with staff shortages are put on duty.

In the West Zone, some operations have been postponed due to increased COVID-19 activity and staff shortages.

In the northern zone, NSH is continuously reviewing planned inpatient operations to ensure that cases can continue based on capacity.

The surge in admissions also means operating beds are often used to care for other patients, NSH said.

“Cancer and other time-sensitive surgeries that cannot be delayed will continue, but many elective and same-day procedures will be put on hold over the next few weeks. This is necessary to create the stationary capacity that we need to keep the flow going and enable continuous emergency care. “

In the emergency rooms, longer waiting times than usual can be expected until winter, especially if the number of COVID-19 cases and admissions increases.

But people shouldn’t postpone visits to the emergency room, the statement said. Emergency rooms at regional hospitals and the QEII Health Sciences Center are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Some smaller locations are regularly closed. More information is available at

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