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Alberta Children's Hospital to have 75% of operating rooms temporarily closed

Last Updated Sep 17, 2021 at 6:12 pm MDT

CALGARY — The Alberta Children’s Hospital will be shutting down 75 per cent of operating rooms by Monday, as the province looks for ways to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

The hospital has entered level 4 of its pandemic response plan, which is the highest possible level.

“The closure of the ORs enables us to redeploy physicians and staff to adult sites,” said Alberta Health Services (AHS) spokesperson Kerry Williamson in a statement to 660 NEWS.

On Thursday, AHS President and CEO Dr. Verna Yiu announced they were postponing all surgeries, allowing only urgent, emergent, and prioritized surgeries to continue.


“We acknowledge that postponing surgeries has a serious and potentially life-altering impact on patients, their families, and their loved ones. We are deeply sorry to those impacted,” Williamson said.

“However, our healthcare system is under unprecedented pressure and we must do all we can to increase capacity so that we can care for patients who need critical care.”

Alberta has asked other provinces for help in dealing with the fourth wave of the pandemic that is threatening to collapse the health care system.

“There was a time when Ontario needed some help as well and other provinces helped us. We will certainly do the same to help Alberta,” Christine Elliot, Ontario’s Health Minister, said on Friday.

“Our officials are having conversations right now about exactly what they need, and we will be there to support them and help them.”

Newfoundland has also offered aid, and Manitoba will provide Alberta with the pharmaceuticals it requested.