The Emergency rooms of hospitals are usually buzzing with activity but the pandemic scare has caused would be patients to stay home and many ERs to be empty.


In fact, right now it’s reported that usage is has dropped an estimated 30-40 percent in many ERs in Canada as a result.

Add to that the estimates that there are now more than 11 thousand unoccupied beds in hospitals across Canada, both because of fewer ER visits and the fact that a huge number of surgeries — almost 53 thousand — have been cancelled and you have what appears to be an underwhelmed hospital system.


Citing a University Health Network report, Ontario’s health minister Christine Elliott said yesterday that 35 cardiac care patients may have died after heart surgeries were cancelled to free up beds for an anticipated surge in COVID-19 patients.

“That’s not something any of us want to hear,” she said during the province’s daily press briefing. “I don’t want to call it collateral damage because they are deaths and that is very concerning and sad to all of us.”


Asked about the backlog of medically necessary surgeries that will need to be cleared when the province reopens, Elliott said “cardiac care and cancer care at the top of the list.”

She added those surgeries will be among the first things to be considered as Ontario eases up lockdown measures, but public health officials have be sure the peak in COVID-19 cases has passed.

Medical Treatment Overview Now

Thousands of Canadians have had surgeries, treatments and regular disease management checkups postponed in recent weeks as hospitals tried to empty their facilities in preparation for a possible surge of COVID-19 patients.

So far, most of Canada has been able to avoid the flood of coronavirus cases that overwhelmed hospitals in places like New York.

Going Forward

While the threat of COVID-19 is still present, medical experts say hospitals in Canada need to develop a road map for how to safely start seeing and treating more patients in the coming weeks. Otherwise, those patients risk becoming collateral damage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For an update on the COVID-19 situation in the Niagara Region, please visit the link HERE.

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