There will be two more operating room closures at the Royal Alexandra Hospital due to staffing issues in the next week, Alberta Health Services announced on Wednesday.
Four operating rooms in the Orthopedic Surgery Centre will be temporarily closed from Aug. 24-27 and then again from Aug. 31- Sept. 3.
In total, 83 scheduled, elective surgeries have been postponed. This is in addition to the 53 cases that were postponed when the ORs had to close between Aug. 16 and Aug. 18.
“All affected patients have been notified and are being re-scheduled as soon as possible,” AHS tweeted. “Surgeries at the OSC will resume with regular coverage on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021.”
This is the second time physician coverage for post-surgical care affected the OSC’s ability to perform surgeries this month. On Aug. 16, AHS announced four rooms were closing for 72 hours because of a staffing shortage.
AHS said the shortage earlier this month was due to a variety of reasons, including staff vacation and several clinical assistants and associations who usually provide post-surgical care recruited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is part of a bigger issue of our whole health-care system.
“The whole health-care system is stressed and stretched under the circumstances of having to deal with this pandemic for as long as it’s gone on and it continues to go on,” Dr. Curtis Johnston, the deputy medical director for the Edmonton zone, said in an update on Aug. 17.
The main operating room schedule will not be affected by the upcoming closures, AHS said.
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