A number of cancer surgeries scheduled in Belfast have been canceled to free up staff to deal with an increase in Covid inpatients.
The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust has apologized for the inconvenience this move will cause to the affected patients and their families.
The trust announced last week that about 100 planned non-urgent actions have been rescheduled as part of efforts to reorient services to deal with the latest surge in coronavirus acceptance.
In a statement this evening, the secretariat confirmed the cancellation of a number of cancer surgeries.
“Unfortunately, the Belfast Trust has made the difficult decision to cancel certain cancer-related measures which we are currently working to reschedule as soon as possible.”
“The continued rise in Covid-19 admissions has put increased pressure on hospitals, which has led to confidence taking the very difficult decision to cancel surgeries in order to expand our support teams caring for Covid-19 patients.
“We do not underestimate the concern and distress it is causing for affected patients and families and we sincerely apologize for this.”
Three more deaths of patients who previously tested positive for Covid-19 have been notified by the Ministry of Health.
The ministry said that 1,600 more cases of the virus have been reported in Northern Ireland.
There were 244 patients with Covid-19 in hospital, 32 of whom were in intensive care.
In all, 2,224,108 vaccines were administered.
Elsewhere, the South Eastern Trust said today’s one-off critical surgery has been canceled in response to pressures facing the health service, and the situation with other planned surgeries is being reviewed on a daily basis.
Earlier this week, the Belfast Trust announced that six additional intensive care unit beds had been made available to handle the growing numbers of Covid-19 patients.
The beds are being placed at Belfast City Hospital due to capacity issues at Royal Victoria and Mater Hospitals.
On Sunday evening, the Belfast Trust and South Eastern Trust issued emergency calls for out-of-hours employees to come to work to help colleagues deal with the escalating situation.
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