By Jensen, Randy on May 9, 2020.
The Chinook Regional Hospital was the first site in Alberta Health Services’ South zone to resume elective surgeries with cataract surgeries started this week and other elective surgeries throughout the remainder of the zone to happen in the coming weeks.
AHS said in a statement the relaunch of non-urgent surgical procedures is being done carefully and incrementally.
“We will ensure that we balance the need to sustain capacity for any surge in COVID-19 patients, with the need to care for patients requiring surgery,” said AHS.
“We are extremely grateful for the patience of those Albertans who had their scheduled surgeries delayed following our decision to postpone non-urgent procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. We acknowledge that decision caused uncertainty and anxiety for many of our patients, but it was a necessary step to ensure our health-care system was prepared for COVID-19.”
To ensure the safety of patients, AHS is maintaining its current COVID-19 infection prevention standards.
“At Chinook Regional Hospital, we maintain our current COVID-19 infection prevention and control standards and processes, including physical distancing and visitor restrictions. The safety of all patients, staff and physicians is of the utmost importance to us.”
All staff, physicians and contractors at clinical sites are screened for fitness for work when arriving for their shift. Staff report to a screening station daily to complete a temperature check and short questionnaire to assess health risks. Anyone deemed not fit to work will be asked to return home.
“This is a necessary step to keep our patients and health-care workers safe,” noted AHS in the statement.
Any health-care worker in Alberta who is experiencing symptoms of fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, is asked to visit http://www.ahs.ca/covid to complete the new health-care workers online assessment. If any physician or staff member has symptoms, they are to stay home and self-isolate for 10 days following the first onset of symptoms.