NL Gazette

Doctors are seeking help as hospitals are working on surgical residues and staff shortages

Takeaway Keys:

  • People struggle hard due to waiting surgeries.
  • The situation getting worse but not better for such patients.

Pain “stops me on my way,” says a patient whose surgery has been delayed for almost two years. 

Cheryl Sword will do as much as possible with her husband and 11-year-old son until she needs to stop and rest.

 “My stomachache and pressure are stopping me,” Sword, 36, who lives in Sherwood Park, Alta, told. 

At the beginning of 2020, a total of two ovarian cysts, one on each side, need to be removed. However, after that, a pandemic of COVID 19 occurred, and “the world was closed.” 

Her doctor assured her that ovarian cysts are very common and that it is okay to postpone surgery. However, after more than a year, the cysts grew and the pain grew. Eventually, her operation was postponed to September 2021. 

Sword notified daycare customers that they were able to arrange alternative childcare while a long recovery was expected. 

But then Alberta was hit by a catastrophic fourth wave. And because the hospital bed was full of COVID 19 patients, their surgery was canceled again.

 “I went to the bathroom, took a shower, sat on the floor, and cried,” she said. 

The Sword is one of the hundreds of thousands of people nationwide who are behind in surgical and diagnostic procedures, says the Canadian Medical Association. 

A recent report commissioned by CMA from consulting firm Deloitte currently has 327,800 backlogs, estimated to require at least $ 1.3 billion in additional funding “to cover pre-pandemic levels .”

“The numbers could be even higher given the additional intervention and non-urgent discontinuation of activities in multiple states during the fourth wave,” the report said.

It’s getting worse, it’s not good 

Hospitals prioritize life-saving and urgent procedures, but there are results for patients like Sword who do not meet these criteria, he said. 

Dr. Katharine Smart, Pediatrician, President of the Canadian Medical Association. “Delayed services, imaging, examinations, biopsies, and surgery can exacerbate and not improve many people’s problems,” says Dr. Katharine Smart.

 “Therefore, instead of having a problem that requires a simple solution or perhaps non-invasive surgery, we are dealing with a problem that is far more important to the patient.”

Read More: Doctors call for help as hospitals battle surgical backlogs, staffing shortages | CBC News

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