Doctors in Manitoba say the backlog in diagnosis and surgery in the province not only continues to grow, but that backups are occurring across a large portion of the health care system.
Figures from November and December 2021 show the backlog of diagnostic and surgical procedures amounted to 153,320 cases, which is an increase of 1,204 cases over the last estimate.
57,287 surgeries have been postponed, which is 1,600 more than the last numbers provided.
However, minor improvements have been made over the accumulation in cases of diagnostic imaging and other diagnostic procedures.
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Those numbers are before Omicron rips through the county.
But delays are now being felt in much of the health care system.
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“I’ve never seen it this bad before,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Christian Thompson said.
The reason for this, he says, is a sharp increase in the demand for care, an increase in physician and staff absenteeism and isolation requirements.
Back-up in care includes delays in reaching hospital beds, emergency care, ambulance availability, outpatient clinics, and clinics.
“Patients experience long delays in admission and it is not uncommon for patients to wait days in the emergency room for admission,” Thompson said. “And that makes the patients in our waiting room wait longer, too.”
Support includes disruptions and staff shortages in many rural hospitals.
“In the coming weeks, Manitoba residents will experience delays when they seek care, due to the overburdened capacity and limited resources in our healthcare system at the moment,” Thompson said.
“We don’t have the capacity to handle the volumes we see.”
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