The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) today published a new update on wait times during the first 18 months of the pandemic. In response, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) reiterates the urgency of addressing backlogs in care and, most critically, of overhauling the health care system to prevent these consequences from recurring.
The effects of backlogs in procedures and treatments have a profound impact on patients and on the health care system at large. The repercussions will be felt for years to come, and it is important to devise a plan now to keep patients’ conditions from worsening. Now is the time not only for provincial governments to make this a priority, but also for the federal government to provide the funding needed to bring wait times back down to a reasonable level.
We know that physicians across the country are doing everything in their power to care for their patients in a timely manner, and, for that, they have my deepest thanks. Let us not forget that, behind all these backlogs, there are people suffering. It is high time we took bold systemic action to finally give Canadians the care they deserve.
Dr. Katharine Smart
President, Canadian Medical Association