Canada's ER Crisis: Doctors seek assistance from government to solve ER crisis

Canada’s healthcare system has been crumbling for the past few months. Since the COVID-19 pandemic which showed an increased hospital burden and a decrease in staff, the Canadian healthcare system has struggled to get back to where it once was. Due to the healthcare crisis, the general public is struggling to get emergency medical care within time and has to wait for an extended period. This has created an ER or emergency room crisis in the country. Extended waiting times for a medical emergency can be lethal for the patient. Hence, the doctors are now urging the government to resolve the issues as soon as possible. 

The Canadian healthcare sector is considered globally as one of the most advanced and well-established healthcare sectors. But recent developments have put Canadian healthcare under immense pressure. The emergency room services are overcrowded in the country, thus pushing the waiting period for the ER as high as 24 hours. While the patients are experiencing prolonged waiting times, putting their lives at risk, the government and other authorities are busy pointing fingers at each other for leading the country into such a disaster. Hence, emergency room doctors across the nation are now suggesting the government and these provincial authorities focus on the problem and offer significant solutions. 

Dr. Rodrick Lim, the medical director, and section head at London Health Sciences Center explained the situation in his interview. London Health Sciences Center is located in London, Ontario. It is one of the largest acute-care teaching hospitals. Dr. Rodrick Lim stated that the current situation in the country regarding ER service is the nightmare of every doctor on the planet. He further explained that the thought of a patient waiting in the waiting room during an emergency medical situation and then something happening to them because of not getting medical assistance in time is every healthcare worker’s nightmare. He added that, even though this is a nightmare for us, we are unfortunately hearing such events happening across the country as the ER services are overcrowded. 

The healthcare workers in the country including doctors and nurses are referring to the situation as the ER crisis. During the events of the crisis, many hospitals were forced to temporarily close their ER facilities over the past few months due to many underlying factors. The major factor behind this is the shortage of healthcare workers. Over the months, the nursing staff has declined exponentially in the country, leaving the healthcare organizations deficient. As there is not sufficient staff, the hospitals are being forced to do bed closures and closures of many other medical units. On the other hand, healthcare organizations are facing an increased patient burden for which they do not have sufficient staff and beds for providing medical assistance. During such a situation, the ER facility is the worst hit, as it strictly requires beds and well-trained staff to assist the patient efficiently. Alongside this, there is also a shortage of family physicians who can provide medical services at home, hence patients seeking primary care are also being forced to visit ERs. Hence, the doctors in Canada have now united to seek assistance from the government for solutions to this crisis.