How hospitals will tackle the backlog of nearly 100,000 surgeries delayed by the pandemic

Although the most urgent cancer surgeries have continued through the COVID-19 pandemic, many others have been postponed, causing ‘tremendous’ anxiety for patients, says Andrea Seale, CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society.
Canadian Cancer Society

Date Published: April 25, 2020

Source: CBC

According to data provided by provincial and territorial health ministries, CBC News estimates that close to 100,000 patients across Canada have had their surgical procedures delayed due to COVID-19. Currently, hospitals are only performing surgeries on patients who are at high risk of death or disability if they aren’t treated within days or weeks, which includes most patients with urgent cancer and cardiovascular cases. The Canadian Cancer Society and the Heart and Stroke Foundation report more people utilizing their online resources. Three key factors are required for surgical ramp-up to proceed: 1) Government funding to pay for surgical overtime, including running evenings and weekends; 2) Enough COVID-19 testing kits for every patient to check if they are infected before undertaking surgery; 3) A reliable supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for surgical staff and the rest of the hospital. The final critical factor to opening up more surgeries is for the general public to follow public health guidelines to prevent another surge of COVID-19 cases that will shut down the OR. 

Read the full article here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/covid-19-surgery-backlog-canada-1.5543530

Summary by: Joseph Chon