Oregon hospitals delay 'several hundred' surgeries due to anesthesiologist shortage 

Portland, Ore.-based Providence Portland Medical Center and Providence St. Vincent Medical Center have had to cancel several hundred surgeries amid a shortage of anesthesia providers, The Oregonian reported Nov. 30. 

The hospitals' anesthesia staffing was taken over by Tacoma, Wash.-based, private equity-backed Sound Physicians on Nov. 22. Renton, Wash.-based Providence warned patients in October that it would have to delay procedures during the transition because the staffing firm "failed to hire sufficient qualified staff prior to the transition," according to the report. 

The hospitals have canceled "several hundred" surgeries, nearly all the nonemergent procedures scheduled through the end of the year, the health system confirmed to The Oregonian. The health system has also limited nonemergent surgeries at other hospitals so they can handle the urgent procedures. 

Providence and Sound Physicians officials told the publication that they will have more than 70 new anesthesia providers at the hospitals by the end of next week.

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