WELLINGTON COUNTY – The Wellington Health Care Alliance (WHCA) is working with other hospitals to address growing waiting lists for procedures by offering space at Groves hospital.
Stephen Street, CEO of WHCA, explained that early in the pandemic a number of non-urgent medical procedures had been cancelled.
This has created a backlog which the province has been working to address.
Street said that through the group of hospitals in Waterloo-Wellington they have come up with a local plan which sees Groves Memorial Community Hospital offering some capacity in their new operating rooms.
“We are working in the new year, with some Waterloo hospitals, to use some time here to try to help these patients who have been on a waiting list and get the surgery quicker than they normally would have,” Street said.
Street said they had offered to either take patients on the waiting list or bring in entire surgical teams from other hospitals to do procedures that wouldn’t normally be done.
He said staff have already done this in diagnostic imaging where patients from Waterloo have come for CAT scans also to address waiting list issues.
Street said this speaks to the idea that hospitals don’t work in isolation but cooperatively with each other.
As an example, the three WHCA hospitals don’t have intensive care unit beds and would send these patients to hospitals in Waterloo or Guelph.
“We all try to work together based on what capacity we have to ensure the most critical patient receives care no matter what area or postal code they reside in,” Street said.
On the topic of bringing in patients who might not know they have COVID, Street said that risk has already existed and they continue to be careful and vigilant in their hospitals.
“I’d say there’s not a single community that’s likely without symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID individuals,” Street said. “We’ll continue to do whatever we can to keep all of our staff and patients as safe as possible.”