NewsCanada's health crisis 'horrific and inhumane,' doctors warn

Canada’s health crisis ‘horrific and inhumane,’ doctors warn

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Emergency departments in Canada are facing severe challenges, overwhelmed with patients waiting for extended periods due to factors such as staffing shortages, overcrowding, and a surge in respiratory illnesses. Doctors are expressing concerns about the worst season they’ve ever witnessed and are calling for substantial systemic changes to address the crisis in the health-care system.

ER doctors highlight the inhumane conditions in emergency departments across the country, with patients waiting for 10 to up to 32 hours in some cases. The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has reported an approximate 20-hour wait time in certain areas, and tragic incidents, such as patients dying while waiting in ERs, underscore the severity of the situation.

The crisis is attributed to a mix of factors, including staffing shortages, increased patient loads, and the strain on emergency departments that have become the default point of access for various health issues. The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) and the CMA are advocating for major systemic changes to address the ongoing challenges in emergency care.

The call for action includes a focus on addressing staffing issues, training and retaining more physicians and nurses, and creating safe, secure, and well-supported workplaces. Team-based primary care is emphasized, involving collaboration among various health-care professionals to provide comprehensive and patient-centered care.

The Canadian health-care system’s capacity challenges have been exacerbated by a surge in respiratory illnesses during the current season, leading to record hospitalizations and increased demand for emergency services. ER doctors stress the need for timely access to acute care services for all Canadians, calling for urgent attention and systemic reforms to address the crisis in emergency care.

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