Surgery diversions an ongoing concern in Calgary, doctors say – CBC

Seven patients diverted from Rockyview General Hospital over the weekend

Jul 21, 2023

Doctors say surgery diversions continue to plague Calgary hospitals and there is no end in sight.

Diversions for general surgery — operations performed for problems such as appendicitis — are being triggered by a shortage of surgical support staff, including medical residents, on an ongoing basis.

Over the weekend, seven patients had to be transferred out when Rockyview General Hospital went on a general surgery diversion, according to Alberta Health Services.

There are times when multiple hospitals can be impacted at once.

Dr. Arun Abbi, a Calgary emergency room physician, said general surgery diversions used to be rare in the city, but now he sees them two or three times a week.

And they impact patients with a variety of health concerns.

“It’s appendicitis, a perforated bowel, gall bladder issues,” said Abbi, who is president of the Alberta Medical Association’s section of emergency medicine.

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