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SIH Sets Plans to Resume Elective Surgeries


After nearly six weeks, Southern Illinois Healthcare says it's working on a plan to resume elective surgeries in the region.

SIH halted the surgeries due to the COVID-19 crisis, and furloughed employees because of the cutback in activity.

SIH CEO Rex Budde says they've put a team together to plan and prioritize the surgeries, which have been halted for nearly six weeks because of the COVID-19 crisis. He says they're being careful to follow IDPH and other guidelines.

"We're not going to jump in with both feet. We're going to take our time. We've set a target of 25% of our normal volume, starting May 11, so that we can make sure the testing works right."

Budde says they hope to have some surgical procedures back online, with patients tested for COVID-19 a few days before their procedure and then sent home to isolate until the surgery. He says if all that goes well, they'll increase the number of surgeries slowly.

The COVID-19 restrictions are pinching health system budgets, in a further blow to the economy. Budde says SIH ended its fiscal year March 31st with a negative bottom line. He says they've adjusted this fiscal year with nearly $50 million in cuts to account for COVID-19 changes.