PEI

P.E.I. catching up on elective surgeries delayed by pandemic

Health PEI is making good progress performing elective surgeries that were delayed during the early weeks of the pandemic, says chief of nursing Marion Dowling.

48% of backlog now cleared, province's top nurse says

Health PEI is getting through delayed surgeries faster than expected, says chief of nursing Marion Dowling. (CBC)

Health PEI is making good progress performing elective surgeries that were delayed during the early weeks of the pandemic, says chief of nursing Marion Dowling.

Dowling was speaking at the province's weekly pandemic briefing Tuesday morning.

After the pandemic was declared in March, the province's medical staff stopped performing elective surgeries in order to prepare the hospital system for potential outbreaks of COVID-19. Those surgeries have resumed, and Dowling said 48 per cent of the backlog has been cleared.

"We have been moving forward at a faster pace, I think, than we may have even anticipated over the summer months," said Dowling.

"We're really trying to work together with patients as well as with our staff, doing an increased number of cases in the summer months while it's safe to do so."

Quiet summer allowed procedures

Dowling said the relatively quiet summer — it has been four weeks since P.E.I. had a new case — has allowed Health PEI to focus on catching up with elective surgeries.

She was not able to provide a timeframe for when all the delayed elective surgeries would be done.

In late May, Health Minister James Aylward told the legislature that a total of 1,120 surgeries had been delayed because of COVID-19. Those included: 

  • 491 eye surgeries.
  • 262 orthopedic surgeries.
  • 92 general surgeries.
  • 76 ear, nose and throat surgeries.
  • 63 obstetrics and gynecology surgeries.
  • 44 urology surgeries.
  • 37 plastic surgeries.
  • 26 oral/dental surgeries.

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