More than 14,000 Canadians died during the 2021–2022 time frame while waiting for surgery, diagnostic scans, or other medical services, according to a new report released on March 2 by SecondStreet, a non-profit think tank.
Using the most recent government data from several provinces, the report found that 14,057 Canadians had died while on the waiting list between April 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022. Wait times ranged from less than a month to more than eight years before patients died. Many died after exceeding the doctor’s recommended waiting time, the report said.
Data reported by the organization in December 2022 showed that the number of deaths waiting for CT scans and MRIs had increased by more than 400 percent since 2015–16. Deaths on surgical waiting lists have increased by 24 percent in the past four years, since 2018–2019.
The report said that the deaths were divided into two categories: those who died because the disease did not receive the necessary treatment or diagnosis; and those who died of other diseases while waiting. While the latter group did not die as a result of the delay, their quality of life in the final stages may have been affected, the report said.
According to a report released in December 2022 by the Fraser Institute, the median wait time in 2022 hit a record high of 27.4 weeks, compared to 9.3 weeks in 1993, 25.6 weeks in 2021, and 20.9 weeks in 2019, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc across the globe.
Ontario has a shortage of nurses and paramedics
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Ontario will be short of about 33,000 nurses and personal support workers in 2027-28, and the government will need to spend an additional $21.3 billion on healthcare to meet its target, says a new report from the province’s fiscal watchdog.
The report, which delves into the government’s health care spending plans for the next six years, estimates that the Ford administration is funding the current healthcare program and expansion plans for hospitals, home care, and long-term care by $21.3 billion less than needed and will need to spend an emergency fund or a new health transfer of federal funds to help meet its commitments.
The report predicts a shortage of 33,000 nurses and personal care workers by 2027–2028. While the government will add 53,700 nurses and private paramedics, Ontario will actually need 86,700 in 2027–2028, an increase of approximately 26 percent in nurses and a 45 percent increase in private paramedics.
The report says nurse salaries in Ontario are currently the lowest in Canada. To retain workers, the province may have to take new steps, such as raising wages, reducing workloads, creating more full-time jobs, increasing reliance on intermediary workers and private suppliers, and increasing new funding for education or training.
By April Chu, Vision Times Canada Staff.