AHS postpones scheduled surgeries due to COVID-19

September 3, 2021

EDMONTON – The rise in COVID-19 cases in the community and the resulting demand on hospital resources means AHS must take further immediate steps to create additional ICU capacity.

AHS is postponing scheduled surgeries and procedures across all zones. All patients who are affected will be contacted directly by AHS.

AHS will maintain urgent and emergent procedures, as well as prioritized cancer surgeries.

AHS is working to open and staff additional acute care and ICU beds across the province as quickly as possible.

Calgary Zone is opening five beds in the Pandemic Response Unit (PRU) located at South Health Campus to be used for day medicine patients, not patients with COVID-19. The day medicine spaces in SHC will be used for general inpatients.

Edmonton Zone is also preparing the PRU at the Kaye Edmonton Clinic to potentially open in the next few weeks. Patients who are recovering from COVID-19 and are deemed to be at low risk of transmitting the virus would be treated at the PRU if that additional capacity is required.

These surgical postponements will help free up space in our hospitals for patients who need a higher level of care, and support redeployment of frontline staff and resources to areas of greatest need. AHS is also asking all part-time and casual staff who are available to take extra shifts to please do so. Staffing has become the critical issue in this wave of the pandemic.

We acknowledge that our frontline physicians and staff are tired after 19 months of pandemic response. We are extremely grateful for everything they have done for Albertans, and we regret asking them to go above and beyond again.

This situation is serious, and we would like to remind all Albertans that we need their help in reducing the transmission of COVID-19 in the community, which in turn will reduce strain on the healthcare system.

We strongly urge all eligible Albertans to get immunized as quickly as possible, which is your best defence against a severe outcome from COVID-19.