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Tucson Medical Center cancels elective surgeries
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Tucson Medical Center cancels elective surgeries

COVID ICU, TMC

A hospital staff in the COVID Intensive Care Unit at Tucson Medical Center on Dec. 11, 2020.

The Tucson Medical Center is canceling elective surgeries starting Monday.

In a letter to employees, Chief Operating Officer Mimi Coomler and Chief Medical Officer Amy Beiter said they were halting elective surgeries until Monday, Jan. 4 “to address the constrained nursing, clinical and medical staff.”

Hospitalizations in Arizona reached a record Thursday, and the Tucson area saw a record number of COVID-19 cases this week.

“We have reached the point in the pandemic where the number of COVID patients needing care is exceeding available resources on a daily basis,” the letter said.

As a precaution against the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the annual Christmas en el Barrio used a drive-thru style format to handout toys, gift cards and other items to children and families at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds, on Dec 18, 2020. At 9 a.m. when the event officially kicked off there were over 150 vehicles in line. Over a thousand were expected to come through by the end of the day.

A limited number of volunteers, which added up to just under 50, were present from Nova Home Loans and other community supporters to help welcome vehicles and organize and distribute over $1,600 worth of toys. (Josh Galemore / Arizona Daily Star)

Beiter and Coomler said the hospital in the past week had to cancel some elective surgeries that required ICU and stepdown beds and had to turn away 80 direct admissions to the hospital.

The hospital’s surgery team and surgeons will be reaching out to patients affected by the changes.

“We recognize that many patients have met their insurance deductible, and canceling their surgery is a financial concern,” the letter said.

The hospital’s chief financial officer is asking insurance companies for a waiver or adjustments to patients affected.

“TMC’s medical staff has risen to all of the difficult challenges this pandemic has posed,” Beiter and Coomler wrote. “I thank you in advance for your continued partnership as we head into what appears to me the most trying phase yet.”

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Reporter

Stephanie is a Tucson native and graduated from the University of Arizona in 2014. She worked for newspapers in Rapid City, South Dakota; Manhattan, Kansas; and Lake Havasu City before moving back to Tucson.

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