Due to the increased number of COVID-19 cases in in the province and work associated with the COVID response, Nova Scotia Health is making temporary changes to some services in all zones.
Surgeries that require admission will be reduced temporarily at Cape Breton Regional Hospital, St. Martha’s Regional Hospital, Aberdeen Hospital, Colchester East Hants Health Centre, Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre, Valley Regional Hospital, Yarmouth Regional Hospital, South Shore Regional Hospital, Dartmouth General Hospital and the QEII Health Sciences Centre.
Surgeons’ offices will be notifying patients whose surgeries must be temporarily postponed and will attempt to provide as much advanced notice as possible. However, this situation is changing rapidly and some cases could be impacted with little notice. Efforts will be made to rebook patients who’ve had their surgeries postponed as quickly as possible.
These changes are necessary to build capacity, including beds and staffing, to support COVID-19 response measures. A limited number of priority surgeries requiring admission will occur each day, for those requiring urgent or cancer-related procedures.
Day surgeries will continue at this time at these sites, unless further reductions are required.
The need for temporary surgical reductions will be assessed on an ongoing basis. Pre-admission appointments and other surgery related clinics, such as surgical consults, are continuing at this time. Surgery patients who have been scheduled to undergo pre-operative COVID-19 testing 72 hours prior to surgery, are required to complete this testing. Surgical patients are reminded to limit their exposure to others in the days leading up to their surgery, to the greatest extent possible, to minimize the risk of being exposed to COVID-19.
Scheduled outpatient care will also be reduced to support staff redeployment in some areas of the province. Outpatient clinics will reduce to urgent and emergent appointments at the QEII and Dartmouth General next week. Patients will be notified of any changes impacting them.
Our Mental Health and Addictions program is not reducing outpatient services. Our outpatient teams will now be providing virtual appointments and reducing face-to-face offerings of services and conduct treatment sessions primarily using virtual care offerings (i.e., telephone, virtual platforms etc. Please note this includes group treatment). We recognize that some outpatient services must take place in-person. The decision to support or undertake in-person assessment and/or treatment will be based on patient needs. New referrals will continue to be accepted.