Amid COVID-19 surge, Ontario braces for patient transfers between hospitals


As the surge in COVID-19 infections intensifies the pressure on the province’s health system, the Ontario government has asked hospitals to prepare for the transfer of hundreds of potential patients from one region to another. other.
In a note to hospitals obtained by CityNews Thursday, Health Ontario president and CEO Matthew Anderson said they must be prepared to accept patients from other hospitals in their area and outside their region, “When their regional COVID-19 response structure requests it.

According to the memo, updated projections show the province will see more than 500 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units and more than 1,700 hospitalizations related to the virus before the end of the month.

Several Toronto-area hospitals announced Thursday they are closing their pediatric wards to help create adult inpatient capacity.

Unity Health Toronto said in a statement that its St. Joseph site, along with the William Osler Health System and Humber River Hospital, may transfer pediatric patients who need to be hospitalized to SickKids, where there is capacity.

“Our youngest patients remain a top priority and we continue to provide advisory, neonatal and ambulatory care to all of our pediatric patients, including our Just For Kids clinic, our pediatric consultation clinic and our intensive care unit. neonatal, ”the statement read.

In the memo, Anderson goes on to list “additional steps hospitals need to take immediately” to make sure people get the care they need.

Hospitals that have unoccupied intensive care beds must reserve about a third of those beds for transfers from hospitals that do not have intensive care capacity.

Transfers of intensive care patients between hospitals will be managed by the Ontario Intensive Care COVID-19 Command Center.

Hospitals in COVID hotspots will continue with “urgent” surgeries and procedures, including some cancer treatments, transplants, heart and neurological care. And hospitals must “have a plan in place to appropriately delay elective care.”

“We have to work as a provincial system at a level never required before,” Anderson said in the memo. “This means that no hospital has to feel alone.”


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