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Province eases emergency orders on hospital transfers, redeployment of healthcare workers

Last Updated Jun 3, 2021 at 11:33 am EDT

The Ford government has amended several emergency orders related to the transfer of hospital patients and the redeployment of health care workers.

After the third wave of COVID-19 was declared in Ontario, the province issued an emergency order authorizing the the transfer of patients to other hospitals without their consent in an effort to protect hospital resources from becoming overwhelmed by the rise in COVID patients. The province then expanded that order to allow for patients to be transferred to long-term care homes and retirement homes where necessary.

Provincial officials say to date there have been no cases of patients transferred to long-term care or retirement homes, and in light of the improving situation among COVID-19 cases across the province, this order has been revoked as of June 2.

However, the province says it will still allow the transfer of patients without their consent to other hospitals until June 16, providing the situation surrounding COVID admissions continues to improve across the province.

Provincial health officials are also revoking the emergency order which authorized the redeployment of health care workers within the Local Health Integration Networks (LIHNs) to long-term care and retirement home settings. However, due to continuing high ICU rates and “extreme operational pressures” redeployment to hospitals if necessary will continue until June 16.

The province lifted its stay-at-home order on June 2 but a number of emergency orders pertaining to limits on outdoor gatherings and restrictions on in-person retail and other businesses remain in effect as the province proceeds towards a June 14th gradual reopening of the economy.