You may have heard the term surge planning over the past few months, but what does it mean?
Surge planning is when the health system in Saskatchewan prepares for an increase in demand for health care services. The surge could be due to anything ranging from a plane crash, a weather event, or a pandemic.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is currently reviewing its pandemic surge plans every week to ensure each surge in demand for care and any associated service slow-downs are as measured as possible to maintain the balance between fighting the pandemic and providing everyday health services.
SHA services are adapting to meet the projected COVID-19 patient demand, while continuing to deliver essential services to non-COVID-19 patients throughout the duration of the pandemic.
Throughout November and into December, COVID-19 has definitely resulted in a surge in demand for health care due to a sharp increase in COVID-19 diagnoses. Triggers for a slowdown of services have been hit already, and should the situation not change, more will likely be required soon.
“We can have all of the resources, and testing, and contact tracing, that we would ever want and it will be for naught if we don’t have help from the public,” said SHA CEO Scott Livingstone during a November 26 Health System Readiness Update. “The exponential growth and pressures on our hospitals and ICUs if the virus is left unchecked would inevitably overwhelm our health system. The fact that we are activating our surge plan should be a strong signal that we need more help from the public to ensure demand doesn’t exceed our ability to scale up. If we don’t get that help, more people will lose their lives because we can’t provide the care they need.”
What can I do to help?
That the Saskatchewan health-care system could be overrun by COVID-19 is overwhelming to health care providers and residents alike. As residents, there is a lot we can do to ensure success. Our actions are the primary factor that can stop the spread.
Please help by:
You can also familiarize yourself with the
health system’s plans, the Health System Readiness Update from November 26, and the
update on the surge plan.
Read the full December 3, 2020 news release
SHA activates next phase of COVID-19 Surge Plan.