Management at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital has confirmed that COVID-19 patients from Manitoba may be transferred to hospitals in northwestern Ontario, specifically, Kenora's.
Vice President of Patient Services Donna Makowsky says Ontario Health Hospitals have met with Shared Health Manitoba regarding their over-capacity pressures in Critical Care and Intensive Care Units.
If census allows, Ontario hospitals have agreed to accept in-transfer Manitoba clients if needed. Northern hospitals have since created an Incident Management system to establish needs and a plan, that balances the Manitoba client transfers between hospitals.
As it stands, no transfers have been received yet. Makowsky notes as the Kenora hospital only has a level 2 ICU, if we were to receive a transfer, the patient would be less acute and would not require long-term ventilation. The Thunder Bay, Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie hospitals all have level 3 ICU beds.
The Dryden Regional Health Centre and Sioux Lookout's Meno Ya Win Health Centre have confirmed they will not be accepting transfers, due to a lack of ICU beds.
Previously, President and CEO of the Lake of the Woods District Hospital, Ray Racette, has said Kenora would be able to handle about six COVID-19 patients in the ICU, but after that, it would be difficult. The ICU has 3 beds, but can surge and create up to 7 beds. The hospital has between 6 and 7 ventilators.
Although, Kenora’s hospital does have an agreement with Seven Generations Education Institute to use their space if the hospital was overwhelmed with cases. They can also send patients to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre if the patient needs ICU care beyond the use of a ventilator.