What occurs to elective surgical procedures if New York enters a second wave of Covid-19? | State and Regional Information


Dr. James Slough says his practice, Excelsior Orthopedics in Amherst, is still lagging behind with approximately 1,700 patients waiting for procedures to be postponed.

John Hickey

Senator Tim Kennedy, a Buffalo Democrat, agreed that the terms are different now.

“I am very confident that health facilities can provide elective and other services without interruption, regardless of the environment we are in outside of hospitals and clinics,” he said.

Rep. Richard Gottfried, a Manhattan Democrat and chairman of the congregation’s health committee, said what will happen to non-emergency treatments or surgery in the future will depend on the potential impact of a second wave on hospital bed capacity. “The past few months’ experience should help refine policies and decisions, and improve the efficient use of resources,” he said.

At Excelsior Orthopedics, around 3,000 operations were canceled after the Cuomo order. At his Buffalo Surgery Center on the grounds of his Amherst headquarters, where orthopedic, pain management and gastroenterological interventions are performed, about 4,500 cases have been affected, according to surgeon Slough.

“We’re still lagging behind,” Slough said of the 1,700 patients waiting for procedures to be postponed.

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It’s not a problem unique to New York. In Ontario, for example, nearly 150,000 operations were postponed between mid-March and May, according to the Canadian Medical Society Journal. The problem is so bad that it is expected to take 84 weeks to clear the backlog. Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford said surgeons may have to work weekends to resolve the problem.

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