Quebec ERs Operating Over 100 Percent Capacity, Expected to Get Worse
Quebec’s emergency rooms are still overcrowded and dealing with staffing shortages, but the worse is yet to come. In January and February, the number of patients typically increases following the holiday season, and healthcare workers are bracing for the situation to get worse before it improves.
Emergency Rooms (ERs) in Quebec have been operating at more than 100 percent capacity but health officials suspected the situation to become worse in the coming months. Dr. Judy Morris, head of the Quebec Association of Emergency Physicians, said that healthcare officials need to prepare for the worst as January and February typically bring in more patients for broken bones, respiratory viruses, and heart attacks induced by shoveling.
“We’ve already been overcrowded, we’ve already been stretched thin … the whole system lacks room for patients,” she added. She also fears that this expected surge could break the healthcare system.
As per ER nurse Nathan Friedland, Montreal’s Lakeshore General Hospital emergency room was operating at 210 percent capacity. Patients were showing up sicker than usual as a result of the backlogs throughout the pandemic. “You have two years where people didn’t go to a doctor, two years where their health problems got worse, two years when they weren’t treated for cancer. It’s going to get a hell of a lot worse before it gets better,” he said.
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