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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today ordered hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, state-operated facilities and dental offices to postpone all “non-essential” procedures as soon as possible and for as long as state of emergency remains in effect from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor’s executive order imposes the temporary restrictions “as soon as possible” but not later than 5 p.m. tomorrow.
“By putting this order into place, we will be able to reduce the strain on our healthcare community,” said Joneigh Khaldun, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ chief deputy for health and chief medical executive. “Health care professionals are working around the clock to help protect and treat Michiganders, and by temporarily postponing non-essential procedures, this will free up staff and critical resources that will be needed to address the ongoing public health emergency that we are facing.”
The order directs care providers to implement plans to temporarily postpone non-essential procedures, which “means a medical or dental procedure that is not necessary to address a medical emergency or to preserve the health and safety of a patient, as determined by a licensed medical provider.”
“Any medical center or office that performs elective surgery or cosmetic plastic surgery, must postpone, at a minimum, joint replacement, bariatric surgery, and cosmetic surgery, except for emergency or trauma-related surgery where postponement would significantly impact the health, safety, and welfare of the patient,” according to the order.
Excluded are medical procedures for advanced cardiovascular disease such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, and arrhythmias “that would prolong life,” plus oncology testing, treatment and related procedures, pregnancy-related visits and procedures, organ transplants, and kidney dialysis. The order also excludes emergency or trauma-related procedures “where postponement would significantly impact the health, safety, and welfare of the patient.”
Dental facilities as well “must exclude from postponement emergency or trauma-related procedures where postponement would significantly impact the health, safety, and welfare of the patient.”