Ford prepared to ask surgeons to start working weekends to clear backlog


TORONTO — Ontario’s premier says he’d like to see the province’s doctors begin working on weekends in order to clear a massive backlog of surgeries postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Doug Ford estimates about 180,000 procedures were postponed after lockdown measures went into effect in March in order to curb the spread of the virus.

Earlier this month, modelling research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal estimated Ontario’s surgery backlog would take at least a year and a half to clear.

Ford says the Ministry of Health is looking into ways to address the waiting list, including asking surgeons to work on Saturdays and Sundays.

He says the government has funding available to address the issue, but did not disclose how much money has been set aside.

The ministry did not immediately respond to request for comment.