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IWK to suspend all non-urgent services starting Wednesday

Patients and families who were scheduled for elective surgeries or have clinic appointments will be contacted
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(Meghan Groff/HalifaxToday.ca)

NEWS RELEASE
IWK
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In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the IWK Health Centre will be suspending all non-urgent services effective tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Dr. Krista Jangaard, IWK President & CEO, announced today.

For the IWK's pediatric and women's health population this means:

  • All outpatient, ambulatory clinic appointments and community visits will be limited to urgent care visits only. This includes mobile clinics in other parts of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland & Labrador.
  • All elective surgeries will be cancelled and rescheduled to a later date. Surgical procedures will be limited to urgent and emergent cases only.
  • The IWK emergency department will remain open.

Patients and families who were scheduled for elective surgeries or have clinic appointments will be contacted by the Health Centre to discuss when their procedure could be rescheduled, said Dr. Jangaard.

For IWK Mental Health and Addictions:

  • All group-based interventions will be suspended.
  • Face-to-face contact will be limited, with the program moving primarily to a virtual platform to ensure continued services for patients and families.
  •  All urgent care and emergent mental health and addiction services will continue.

"The health and safety of our patients, families and clinical teams is of the utmost importance as we work to respond to increased demands on our services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Dr. Jangaard. "Decisions to alter non-urgent services are not taken lightly, however at this time, it is the right thing to do."

In addition to suspending non-urgent services, the IWK has implemented other measures to reduce traffic within the Health Centre including, but not limited to:  

  • A strict limit of two visitors per pediatric patient and one visitor for all other patient populations
  • Suspension of volunteer services
  • Cancellation of all public events

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