Staff shortage in Ontario Hospitals is worse than you think
CanadaHealthOpinion Oct 19, 2022 Ishmeet Singh
A crisis is an ambiguous word which defines the condition of thousands of hospitals, medical clinics, doctors’ offices, and long-term care homes face which is rising to unprecedented levels.
It is hard to undermine the situation of these facilities until you are face-to-face with an emergency or medical illness. There is no bigger issue than Ontario hospitals facing massive healthcare workers shortage after years of the pandemic and overload of patients from the flu season.
Ongoing and widespread staff shortages in health care translate to major hospitals in Ontario facing a real dilemma and long wait hours for patients. Several doctors and nurses across Canada have witnessed a major outcry for recruitment and help from the government. Have they been successful at it?
It does not seem so. Ontario’s patient’s average wait times are showing a different side of the story. According to Ontario Health, patients with an ankle injury can face a wait of up to 182 days for surgery.
Our reliance on public health was heightened during the early stages of the pandemic. Prioritizing the COVID-19 outbreak caused the hospitals to recruit those who have left the medical practice or to deal with understaffing. From 43,390 to 82,130 from Q1 of 2020 to Q2 of 2022, Statistics Canada shows the number of job vacancies for health occupations has been on a rise.
We are seeing an unprecedented time of sustained pressure and strain which is resulting in the system breaking down. The emergency department is considered a barometer for what is going on in the rest of the system. If the emergency room is running effectively and efficiently, with minimal or no waiting times, it is assumed the health care system is in good shape.
Today, I revealed alarming data on Ontario’s healthcare.
Doug Ford and Sylvia Jones have been telling us for months that all is well, that the disasters in our emergency departments are “not unprecedented.”
That is not true, and I’ve got the data to prove it. #onpoli #onhealth pic.twitter.com/kYG4IrfBtr
— Dr. Adil Shamji 🇨🇦 (@ShamjiAdil) October 12, 2022
About nine of 10 patients were completed within 44.1 hours after their admission to Emergency Department as reported by Ontario Health’s Aug. 2022 report. While about ten per cent had to stay more than that. This is 48.2 per cent worse than the past year. This report also shows that there were no advancements made by Emergency Departments in Ontario for the length of stay. An increase of 53 per cent from last year was also observed with 883.8 patients waiting for beds across the province.
There are several decisions by the Ontario government being brought to the table like moving the seniors to be sent up to 150 kilometres away for long-term care. But how do we address the rising job vacancies? When would the healthcare facilities witness some relief, even if they would? How would they function if there are hotels/motels converted to health care centres when there is a staff shortage? The government has to take necessary steps towards a better direction for the people working in these facilities and for the public to get medical help in their time of need.