Canada is one of the most prosperous countries worldwide and has a government-funded progressive universal healthcare system. However, on Thursday, the doors of the Emergency Responsibility Services (ERs) department of Toronto hospital were shut for two hours. The hospital authority posted an official notice that doors will be reopening the following morning at 8 am and again will be closed for the evening. The patients who needed urgent treatment would be shifted to nearby hospitals on a temporary basis. It was the ninth time since April this year that ERs are unavailable for healthcare services 24*7.
Medical Services at Jeopardy
Toronto ER physician Dr. Raghu Venugopal said, “I have seen stretchers lining the hallways, occupied by patients suffering from ailments like a broken hip or abdominal pains.” This implies how emergency care patients have to wait for a couple of days to be admitted to the hospital because only two nurses are available to monitor 50-60 patients at the same time. Hence, healthcare workers and hospital executives in Canada describe medical services as a ‘crisis’ situation. Moreover, smaller hospitals have also reduced their emergency services while examining their patients in the waiting room because of a lack of Staff; having limited space for doctors to see them privately.
Some paramedics have spent entire 12 hours on stretchers while waiting for some frontier healthcare professional as no one was around to admit them for treatment. In the maritime province of Nova Scotia, one emergency responsibility service department has been closed since June 2021 due to staffing shortages. Now, patients are looking for some alternative in neighboring countries like the USA after experiencing struggling emergency rooms.
Quick Fix is essential
Experts say such a crisis situation is the result of bad policies coupled with Canada’s vast and complicated geography. The faulty healthcare policies of the Canadian Government include an insufficient budget allocation for healthcare, inadequate recruitment of frontiers, and unfriendly insurance policies. The national debate is taking place all over the country regarding how to recruit efficient and faithful nurses as they tend to leave their jobs due to heavy workload. Also, new policies are needed for cherishing the public health system and dealing with the aging population. Consequently, advanced technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be introduced to increase the efficiency of health services.