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Ontario Releases Plan to Resume Scheduled Surgeries and Procedures

Published on
May 7, 2020

Today Premier Doug Ford and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health announced that the Ontario government has developed a comprehensive framework for the gradual resumption of scheduled surgeries and procedures in collaboration with experts. While the directive to decrease scheduled surgeries and procedures remains in effect, planning can begin. No dates were provided on when surgeries will actually resume.

The framework, A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic, sets out the criteria that hospitals must meet to resume these surgeries including:

  • A stable number of COVID-19 cases;
  • A stable supply of personal protective equipment;
  • A stable supply of medications;
  • An adequate capacity of inpatient and intensive care unit beds;
  • An adequate capacity of health human resources; and
  • The availability of post-acute care outside the hospital that would be required to support patients after discharge.

Every hospital will have a different timeline based on their unique situation and their ability to maintain capacity to respond to COVID-19. Each hospital will need approval by the regional oversight tables involved with planning and coordinating the COVID-19 response in Ontario.

The framework also establishes the criteria for prioritizing surgeries such as:

  • A patient's condition;
  • The type of procedure a patient requires and whether options for non-operative treatments exist;
  • The associated risks of delaying a patient's surgery; and
  • The resources required in terms of personal protective equipment, medications, intensive care unit beds, and other care requirements needed after an operation.

The specific surgeries that each hospital will begin with initially will depend on the criteria used for prioritizing surgeries and decisions may be made at the regional level to ensure an ethical, measured and responsive approach.


Consult the Sussex COVID-19 Guide for information on supports made available across the Federal, Provincial and Municipal Governments.

Let Sussex help connect you with the right people in government to help your organization get through these extraordinary times and navigate COVID-19 support programs.

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