U.K. Hospitals Cancel ‘Non-Urgent’ Appointments for Queen’s Funeral, Which Has Been Declared a Holiday

Gurney in hospital hallway
Gurney in hospital hallway

Getty

Thousands of hospital patients across the United Kingdom are having their appointments canceled on Monday due to Queen Elizabeth‘s funeral.

The late monarch, who died Sept. 8 at the age of 96, will have a state funeral and many National Health Service (NHS) trusts are canceling “non-urgent” appointments and procedures due to the holiday.

Doctors at one London hospital were reportedly told, “The day of the State Funeral will be treated as a bank holiday so please go ahead and start rescheduling patients,” according to OpenDemocracy.

Canceled appointments include hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery, maternity checks and some cancer treatments, the outlet reports.

A pregnant woman told OpenDemocracy that her fetal scan at a different London hospital trust has been canceled due to the Queen’s funeral.

“I’m really disappointed,” she shared. “Yes, it’s a routine scan, but that’s another week or two until I’m seen and wondering whether my baby is healthy — which means quite a lot of anxiety, sitting and waiting.”

However, COVID-19 vaccination appointments and emergency services will continue as planned.

The decision comes after King Charles III, the Queen’s eldest son and successor, declared on Saturday that the date of his mother’s funeral would be a bank holiday in the U.K. Schools and businesses will be closed in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as a sign of respect.

Prior to the cancellations, hospital waiting lists reached an all-time high with 6.8 million patients waiting for medical appointments at the end of July and more than 377,000 people not receiving care for more than a year.

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