Pediatric Hospitals Across Ontario Ask Province for Help as 12,000 Children Wait for Surgeries

Team Parvasi – Inside

Pediatric hospitals across Ontario are still struggling to provide care to the sheer number of patients coming in and a new report states around 12,000 children are waiting for surgeries. Four major pediatric hospitals have said they need help from the province to solve the bigger issue at hand, which these long waiting lists are a part of.

The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, CHEO, a health care and research facility in Ottawa, McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, and the Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre were overwhelmed with the number of patients coming in with the flu and respiratory syncytial virus over the past three months.

Even though the surge reduced, the number of children waiting for patients that stacked up has now reached 11,789 across Ontario. These are the patients that have waited over the clinically recommended wait times.

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Bruce Squires, president of McMaster Children’s Hospital, has said investments into the hospital is what can solve these long waiting lists. “The fact that we’ve now come out of the surge and we’re still very strained helps to demonstrate that we really need major investments,” he said. Squires suggested that more specialized staff, like nurses and anesthesiologists, need to be hired to address the situation.

According to Dr. Simon Kelley, a surgeon and associate said SickKids hospital in Toronto has 6,301 procedures waiting to be carried out. It has been operating at 100 percent capacity for about a year now and the wait list has increased by 15 percent. She said that even if they restore full service levels, the wait list for surgeries will keep growing.

Spokeswoman Hannah Jensen said that Health Minister Sylvia Jones is “in constant communication with pediatric hospital CEOs and has offered the government’s full support to do what we can to ramp up their capacity.” Furthermore, Nash Syed, president of the Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre shared that the children’s hospitals met last Thursday with Ontario Health to figure out how to tackle the surgical backlog.

Vineet Washington

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