Doctors fret over surgery backlog after immediate COVID-19 crisis


OTTAWA — Doctors say they’re becoming increasingly concerned about how they’re going to handle the swelling backlog of elective surgeries once the immediate COVID-19 threat has ebbed.

Hospitals have put off non-urgent surgeries to focus on the viral outbreak.

But with most patients already waiting longer than recommended for their surgeries, doctors worry their elective procedures could become urgent by the time operating rooms are available.

Dr. Sandy Buchman with the Canadian Medical Association says there will be very few ways for surgeons and hospitals to catch up once they start seeing elective patients again.

He says hospitals were operating above capacity before the pandemic, and wait times were already the bane of Canada’s health-care system.

That’s likely to mean patients waiting until their conditions are more serious or more advanced before they get into the operating room.


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