Alberta to move hospital patients to homes, care centres as COVID-19 crisis worsens

·1 min read

EDMONTON — Alberta will move more patients to other care settings to free up space in hospitals so overrun with COVID-19 cases that some children's surgeries, cancer surgeries and transplant operations are being cancelled.

Verna Yiu, who's the president and CEO of Alberta Health Services, says there may be 200 potential patients that could be moved into continuing care in the next week or two.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro also announced $36 million to help care agencies hire more staff or increase resources for home care and other care-home settings.

Alberta is facing a severe crisis in its hospitals as staff and resources are redirected to focus on COVID cases that have filled up intensive care beds, with critically ill patients now being directed to overflow wards.

Non-emergency surgeries were cut by as much as 60 per cent provincewide last week and the Calgary health zone has cancelled all non-urgent procedures for the rest of the week.

Yiu says some of the delayed surgeries in Calgary include pediatric operations and transplants, as well as cancer procedures that physicians feel can be put off without risk to the patient.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2021.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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