Canada is facing a crisis in emergency healthcare, with the patients waiting for up to 100 to 125 hours for treatment. Trauma patients are also waiting for as long as 4 days. There is huge shortage in the number of health workers in Canada. The situation is such that patients who can get well with primary treatments are falling ill because of a lack of proper treatment. There is a lack of around 7500 doctors in the country.
As per Ontario’s emergency doctor, Dr. Raghu Venugopal, the crisis has a political background to it. The health minister, after closing down more than 20 emergency departments due to a shortage of workers, has said that this is not a crisis, which, according to Dr. Venugopal, is not justifiable. Even the Medical Association of Canada has called the situation a crisis, along with this, provincial leaders have raised their voices against the crisis as well. During the minister’s meet held in July, a proposal of augmenting the health budget from 22 to 35% was made.
But Canada’s PM, Justin Trudeau has said that he wants to look at the positive effects of the sum of 3.70 lakh crores allocated for healthcare this year. He added that high allocations made by earlier governments had not produced the required improvements. Canada’s Health Minister, Jean-Yves Duclos has constantly been talking about improvements in the healthcare system of the country. The incumbent government of the country had promised an allocation of 2.62 lakh crore rupees for all provinces on coming to office, which was also supposed to recruit 7500 new family doctors and nurses.
Journalists have alleged that when the health minister was asked about the same, he avoided giving any answers. This is the first time after 2006 in the country that even the emergency wards are on the verge of closure. The situation is such that normally for one night, and sometimes for the whole weekend, emergency services are being shut down. Due to the lack of nurses, 16 emergency departments have been closed down in the area of Ontario with the highest population. Along with this, the only community hospital serving more than 3 lakh people in Newfoundland and Labrador, was closed down on 1 July to 29th August.
Last month, Duclos announced the restoration of the post of the Chief Nursing Officer, which was dissolved by the government 10 years ago.