Saskatchewan

Front-line workers concerned about state of health-care system: SHA chief medical officer

Dr. Susan Shaw said on Thursday the concern isn't a fear of getting sick, it's a fear of the health-care system being overwhelmed. 

'Even if we halt transmission entirely we still have all the cases... diagnosed in the last 7 to 10 days':

'I really miss the family presence at the bedside,' SHA chief medical officer Dr. Susan Shaw said Thursday. (Zoom)

The Saskatchewan Health Authority's (SHA's) chief medical officer says the biggest emotion front-line health-care workers are feeling right now is concern. 

Dr. Susan Shaw said on Thursday the concern isn't a fear of getting sick, it's a fear of the health-care system being overwhelmed by COVID-19. 

She echoed sentiments shared by SHA CEO Scott Livingstone during a news conference Thursday where the health authority announce its new surge plan forecasts.

"Even if we halt transmission completely, we still have all the cases and the people that were diagnosed over the last seven to 10 days," Shaw said. 

"[They are] just going to be becoming ill enough to start hospital and ICU admission."

She said there's a sense of resolve among front-line health-care workers, who are pulling together and relying on their wealth of experience working under unusual circumstances to deal with the pandemic. 

She said she and health authority staff miss the presence of family at bedsides, but noted visitation restrictions are in place to keep people safe. 

"It's hard on staff and it's heartbreaking for our families," she said.

Shaw encouraged people to reach out to health-care workers they know over the phone or through email to say thank you.

She also said people should stay home, stay safe, wear their masks in public, gather virtually and isolate if reporting any COVID-19 symptoms.

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