As Canada’s health system burns, Trudeau and the provinces debate the firehose

Arwen~ Our healthcare system has been broken and broke for years. We have had hallway health care for many years. This is the main reason why healthy people, children, were put in lockdown in their homes during covid, that is mind boggling.

During an Uber rider, the driver , who was from Qatar, was telling me about a fare he had earlier. A mother whose son went to the hospital by ambulance for burns on his body, only to be told at emerg that there would be a 4 1/2 to 5 hour wait. He said she was livid. He also said he loved Canada, but all of the global hype about our wonderful healthcare system was a joke, he said, it is basically 3rd world and if he needed medical attention, if he was able, he would go back to Qatar to get it.

There are doctors who have immigrated from other countries who are driving taxis ( nothing deragotory meant by the occupation) because of the process/red tape/hoops to go through here. There are doctor shortages all over.Canada. Get rid of much of the red tape and get them working.

There are shortages of staff, an emergency dept in Mississauga was shut down on Friday I believe as there wasn’t enough staff. this is becoming commonplace across Canada. Health care workers are burned out, not paid their worth, and incur debt to pay for their education. Is this an incentive to get more nurses and practitioners? ? Not an expert on any of this, but have experienced it , as most of us have, I have spoken to others over the years, including doctors and frontline workers/ health care professionals on their frustration with the system and politicians who are great with photo ops and promises but short on delivering anything of real substance and change.

Fix our healthcare system…not bandaid solutions but overhaul it wherever need be. . Gov’t officials/politicians need to be speaking to frontline workers and get their input on what are the issues and what needs to be done and start implementing new policies immediate.y. They are the ones who know, not bureaucrats. The same old isn’t working.

Meantime, we watch and wait for the next virus that puts healthy people in their homes, schools lockdown with children ,who are not at risk, away from their peers and vital social interaction. Diseases not caught early enough because of a lack of screening/testing. Small businesses shut down never to recover. The catastrophic toll on our economy, and the debt incurred, the mental, emotional and physcial toll all because of a broken healthcare system, not a virus. COVID exposed many things, this being a major one. The virus is dangerous for some, not all people, but a broken healthcare system is long reaching.

Excerpt from article `”On Saturday, Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital (PSFDH) announced a shutdown of its emergency department until Thursday, citing a COVID-19 outbreak. However, its doctors say the real reason is an ongoing staff shortage.

“Yeah, COVID caused the closure of the emergency department, but the reality of it is that we had no built-in resilience of our nursing staff,” Dr. Alan Drummond told CTV National News on Saturday.

Drummond said that PSFDH’s emergency room dropped from 15 nurses down to five, leaving the unit exceptionally thin.

“Somebody needs to be held accountable for the fact that we lost 50 per cent of our nursing staff within several months, which set us up, basically, to fail,” he said.”

Excerpt from article` “It is a disgrace, they are abandoning nurses,” she continued. “Nurses, instead of having three to five patients, have 10 patients. Just picture the safety for patients and the moral distress for nurses being left in that situation.”

“Dr. Cram said the problem extends beyond the prairie mountain health region, with rural emergency room staffing being an issue across Canada,

“I think clearly there needs to be a human health resource plan for Manitoba and all Canada for that matter. I know the Canadian Medical Association is working on that.”

Cram added trying new health models, like creating a rural doctor rotation attractive to younger physicians, might also help in the future.

“Get three or four doctors together, and they can agree to come out one week a month to a rural system and come for a week, and there will be some continuity of care.”

A sentiment the Manitoba Nurses Union echoes.

“With vacancy rates as high as they are and even higher in certain areas of rural Manitoba, we are past due addressing ways to retain experienced nurses and recruit new hires,” read part of a statement from the MNU. “It’s time that we look for more creative ways to entice our experienced nurses to stay in the profession and new nurses to become a part of the public system.”

The Manitoba Nurses Union says there are currently 2,497 nursing vacancies in Manitoba right now, about 20 per cent of the total available positions.”


Canada has the fourth-lowest number of funded acute care beds per capita among countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to the OECD, and the Commonwealth Fund ranked Canada’s health system second-last among 11 rich countries.

Some blame underfunding of the healthcare system dating back to the 1990s, when Canada’s federal government cut spending to get the country’s deficit under control.

Others,such as the right-leaning Fraser Institute, say the government-funded system itself is the root cause of the problems, suggesting moving toward a privately-paid model.

Canada may have little time to waste.

Rami Rahal, a vice president at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, said there is a danger that cancer illness and deaths could worsen in the country due to lengthy periods in which screening was skipped or delayed and treatment postponed.

“We can’t hire our way out of this crisis,” he said. “We have to find innovative ways of delivering care.”

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