GBGH resumes elective and non-urgent procedures and surgeries

A doctor looking through an eyepiece on a machine as he operates. An assistant is beside him.

May 21, 2021 – Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is resuming elective and non-urgent procedures and surgeries, as directed by the Ontario government on May 19, 2021. Directive #2, issued in mid-April by the province, had instructed hospitals to ramp down elective and non-urgent surgeries and procedures, ensuring critical care capacity and human resources were available to care for COVID-19 patients during the third wave of the pandemic.

Upon receiving news Directive #2 was being lifted, GBGH staff and physicians immediately began working together to re-schedule services postponed over the past month. Within 24 hours of the directive being lifted, elective and non-urgent ambulatory care procedures have now resumed at GBGH. Elective and non-urgent surgeries will resume on Tuesday, May 25 to allow time for pre-operative testing.

If a surgery or procedure was postponed during the past month, the hospital or their physician’s office will be contacting patients to re-schedule their appointment.

GBGH estimates 405 procedures and surgeries were postponed over the past month due to the service ramp down. The hospital is finalizing its strategy to address the backlog, which may include adding hours in the surgical and ambulatory care departments.

“The postponement of elective and non-urgent surgeries and procedures was a necessary step to ensure critical care capacity and appropriate human resources were preserved across the hospital system,” says Dr. Vikram Ralhan, chief of staff, GBGH. “The decision to resume these procedures and surgeries really is a balance between ensuring there’s critical care capacity across the hospital system and not further prolonging care for patients. As the demand for critical care has decreased over the past few weeks, we have turned our immediate focus to resuming services and providing care that has been delayed due to pandemic pressures.”

There is still a possibility that elective and non-urgent surgeries and procedures could be postponed again if there is another increase in demand for critical care capacity and/or a fourth wave in the pandemic.



Jennifer Moore

Communications Officer, GBGH

705-526-1300 ext 5177