Health-care workers are calling attention to a crisis unfolding in Canadian emergency rooms.
Staff shortages and a lack of hospital beds are causing long waits, shortened operating hours and even temporary ER closures across the country. Meanwhile, workers say more patients are coming in for problems neglected during the pandemic.
Patients' stories are dramatic. Two weeks ago in Red Deer, Alta., a woman with abdominal pain said she waited six hours to get an ultrasound, and was told to find her own way to another hospital to have her appendix removed. In May and June in St. John's, the wife of a man with Alzheimer's says he waited 20 nights in emergency before getting a hospital bed.
Today, a conversation with a veteran emergency physician about the new and long-standing factors stretching Canadian ERs to the limit. Dr. Brian Goldman is the host of CBC's White Coat Black Art and the author of The Power of Teamwork.