Hospital gets green light to resume surgeries

Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH) has begun to ramp up services that were put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, including surgery, diagnostic imaging, outpatient clinics (ambulatory care) and mental health services.

“We recognize how difficult and frustrating this situation has been for patients whose care was postponed and it is welcome news that the government is now giving hospitals and other health care providers the green light to slowly begin to provide these services again,” said Jo-anne Marr, President and CEO of MSH.

The provincial government directed hospitals across Ontario to postpone scheduled surgeries and a variety of other services in the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in March to ensure they had enough room, staff and supplies to treat COVID-19 patients. Only urgent surgeries and other emergency outpatient care have been conducted since then.

Though MSH is resuming services, it won’t be business as usual. “While we want to provide care as soon as possible, our top priority is to make sure everyone – patients and staff – is safe when they come to our sites,” Marr says. “We are working hard to strike the right balance between starting scheduled care and continuing to be ready for however the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.”

Anyone entering the building through open entrances will be screened for signs and/or symptoms of respiratory illness. If you have an appointment at the hospital, you’re asked to arrive early to allow time to go through the screening process. Anyone entering the hospital will be asked to wear a mask, perform proper hand hygiene and practise social distancing.

No visitors are allowed except on a case-by-case basis in the intensive care, childbirth and children’s services and palliative care inpatient units, and when a child in an outpatient unit needs a parent or guardian. The hospital has also expanded cleaning of surfaces that are touched frequently.

MSH’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre remains open to provide screening, assessment and testing for anyone wanting to be tested. Visit www.msh.on.ca/patients-and-visitors/coming-markham-and-uxbridge-sites/resuming-services to learn more about how and when services are resuming.

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