As the province deals with the third wave of COVID-19 in the coming weeks, the president of the Ontario Hospital Association, Anthony Dale predicts a new surge in inpatient transfers and cancelled surgeries. If the trend of increasing patient numbers arriving in the province’s hospitals continues, Dale believes capacity will be further strained.
According to Dale, this will result in patient transfers occurring “24 hours a day, seven days a week” to ensure that they receive life-saving care, and more cancelled surgeries will be added to the current backlog of 250,000 procedures.
In Ontario, 409 patients with COVID-19 are being treated in intensive care units. In the Toronto area, nearly half of the patients are on ventilators. Despite the increased availability of vaccines, Dale warns that the pandemic is far from over.
“Hospitals will move heaven and earth,” he says, “but it’s all exacerbating an already dire situation.” “That’s what I see over the next few weeks,” Dale says about the situation. Between January 1 and March 25, at least 601 patients were transported by Ornge Air Ambulance.