SUDBURY -- Dr. Peter Zalan recently retired from his role as an intensive care physician and is the past president of the Sudbury hospital's medical staff.

He and 150 physicians took part in HSN's quarterly staff meeting on Wednesday, and says one anticipated problem that was talked about leading up to this expected surge is staffing after increasing the amount of intensive care unit beds from 28 to more than a hundred.

"The way they want to achieve that is through forming teams of staff, so for physicians you have an ICU doctor who'd be supervising a team of anaesthetists, we'd have ICU nurses supervising a team of nurses and similarly for allied health officials and of course we have to make sure that we keep the staff healthy because of they get sick they won't be able to work," said Dr. Zalan. 

Officials say Health Sciences North has been reviewing the qualifications of their staff.

"To see who can be redeployed from non critical areas to the expanded critical care programs that will be offered at Health Sciences North," said Dominic Giroux, CEO of Health Sciences North.

Another topic discussed was testing. With the long delays, officials say HSN has volunteered to set up an on-site lab so tests can be done locally.

"We received the equipment at our lab on Monday, we expect tomorrow with the delivery of at least a thousand more swabs and we are on target to be able to process the tests locally by April 13," said Giroux.

"To date they've been going down to Toronto and once this gets up and running we should be able to get results in less than a day as opposed to a week or more," said Dr. Zalan.

The expected patient surge is estimated to arrive here in the north within 10 to 14 days.

Dr. Zalan says one way to try to lessen the new cases is stopping all travel between here and southern Ontario.