Ontario hospitals grapple with virus related absences
As Ontario hospitals grapple with staffing pressures from the latest wave of COVID-19 cases, critics are voicing concerns that surgeries could again be cancelled.
The Opposition New Democrats asked Wednesday what further steps the province would take to avoid again postponing long-delayed procedures.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says the risk of that happening is not high because the province has added hospital beds and now has antiviral drugs to treat COVID-19.
But days after the province’s top doctor said Ontario might see up to 600 patients in intensive care during the ongoing sixth wave, hospitals say they’re already feeling pressure as a result of staff absences due to the virus.
Kingston Health Sciences Centre says more employees are calling in sick with COVID-19 currently than at any time during the pandemic.
London Health Sciences Centre says the sixth wave has had a significant impact, particularly from “rising numbers” of staff who are off work because of COVID-19 infections or exposures.