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Spike in Flu Patients Prompts WRHA to Postpone Elective Surgeries

January 8, 2018 5:10 PM | News

Flu Shot

A flu vaccine is injected in Montreal, Tuesday, December 5, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz)

A rise in the number of patients attending Winnipeg hospitals for treatment of flu-like symptoms has prompted the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to postpone elective and non-emergency surgeries scheduled for this week.

“We are dealing with a particularly tough flu season which has resulted in very busy emergency departments and a resulting increase in demand for in-patient beds,” said Dr. Bruce Roe, vice-president and chief medical officer at the WRHA.

Roe says a similar move was made during the 2013 flu season and the WRHA is increasing the number of temporary beds in its hospitals while taking preventive steps to reduce the impact of flu.


Emergency and cancer surgeries across the region are not impacted by the scheduling changes and will continue as planned, Roe said. Day surgeries, which do not place as heavy a demand on in-patient beds, will also continue.

It is estimated that approximately 80 surgeries will be affected.

The WRHA has opened approximately 70 beds to accommodate the increased demand this season. Another 68 beds typically used for surgical patients are now accommodating patients requiring admission.