Canada’s ERs are under intense pressure — and winter is coming – CBC

Several provinces are already struggling with patient load ahead of flu season

Oct 17, 2022

Hospital emergency departments are jammed up in much of the country even before the traditional flu season begins, raising concerns about the winter months ahead.

In Montreal, for instance, ERs hovered at about 150 per cent capacity for much of the past week — and some surpassed 200 per cent.

Dr. Judy Morris, head of the Quebec Association of Emergency Physicians, said the sustained pressure on the system from the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent staffing shortages has taken a toll.

“It’s kind of unseen to have that over such a long period,” said Morris, an emergency physician at Sacré-Coeur hospital in Montreal.

“Certainly the lack of personnel — all types of personnel, but mostly nursing personnel — is hurting us across the health-care network.”

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