“It’s a long-term emerging problem. It has gotten worse over the years now and it will get worse. More and more Canadians are experiencing this personally, ”he said.
“We can’t just postpone a year or two or five. It will get worse. And as the situation gets worse, real people – friends of you and me – are going to be affected.«
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More than 400,000 elective surgeries have been delayed across the country by the pandemic, as hospitals and healthcare facilities pushed anything that could be pushed earlier this year in order to prepare for a potential influx of cases of people needing treatment. intensive care.
There were concerns that the Canadian health care system would be expanded beyond its capacity to provide care for critical cases, as was the case in Italy and other countries where the virus has torn populations apart.
Reduce a backlog of surgery
This has not been the case in Canada so far, although many parts of the country are now in what officials have described as the second wave of the coronavirus.
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Yet as cases increase, many are also grappling with massive backlogs that have been building up for years and that were exacerbated by the delays earlier this year.
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Manitoba is one of the provinces that has turned to contracting out more surgeries and procedures to help reduce the backlog: the province last month announced contracts with two private facilities and three facilities public to provide services such as orthopedic surgeries, echocardiograms and urology tests.
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Ontario, facing an estimated 84-week pandemic backlog, also said last week it would deploy $ 283.7 million for priority surgeries and extend hours at diagnostic imaging facilities, while creating new hospital beds in hospitals and “other health facilities”.
British Columbia health officials initially estimated that the backlog of more than 30,000 surgeries postponed by the pandemic would take 15 months to clear, but would have cleared about 66% of the backlog.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already deployed $ 14 billion to the provinces as part of a plan to restart the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic, with funding going to things like the safe reopening of schools, the purchase of personal protective equipment, paid sick leave and child care.
About $ 10 billion of this plan is earmarked for health-related spending.
But the premiers of Quebec and Ontario also criticized Trudeau for recently arguing that the government must increase federal health transfers to help systems deal with the chronic health care problems the pandemic is exacerbating.
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The transfer of health care from the federal government to the provinces is expected to be $ 43 billion this year.
This amount should increase by 3%. 100 every year in the future.
Pallister said current transfers cover only 20 percent of provincial health care costs while in the past the federal government has provided health transfers covering 50 percent.
However, this has been the case for decades.
“It’s a problem that COVID has made worse, but it was not a new problem,” he said.
“We have been asking this federal government, as premiers, to have this fixed for a long, long time, and it has been ignored and cannot be ignored any longer.
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