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Upstate hospitals waiting for guidance on elective procedures as pandemic leaves many nearly empty

Plans are in the works to resume elective surgeries across New York State, nearly a month after they were stopped.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to announce a plan, which will allow elective surgeries to be performed at some hospitals.

“Now we are at a point where some of the upstate hospitals have significant financial burdens because they are not doing the elective surgery, which is one of the places where they make money,” Cuomo said Monday.

Local plastic surgeon Dr. Stephen Vega says the shutdown has taken a toll on local practices and patients.

“To some degree this shutdown hasn’t just let us decide what is elective and what is non-elective in nature, who needs it sooner than later,” he told 13WHAM. “It’s telling us, ‘You can’t have these surgeries because the patients can live without them.'”

Cuomo’s concern is how fast beds fill-up and what that means if there is another outbreak.

“You let them do elective surgery. They fill up the beds with elective surgery,” he said. “What happens if you have a need for those beds because of the coronavirus and you don’t have the bed because somebody is doing elective surgery?”



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