Canadian hospitals playing ‘supply chain whack-a-mole’ with key materials – CBC

Hospitals across Canada have to get creative as supply chain issues persist

Nov 19, 2021

As Canadian hospitals continue to struggle to catch up on the backlog of health needs caused by COVID-19, supply shortages are adding further stress to the system.

The worldwide supply chain slow-down has affected products from computers to tires, and health care has not been spared.

“We are told by our hospitals that they’re seeing upwards of 600 individual product disruptions every week, and that has been their experience since early spring 2021,” said Kendra Frey, a vice-president at HealthPRO, which helps 1,300 Canadian health-care facilities with procurement.

Transportation slowdowns, labour shortages and a lack of raw materials have all added to the problem. According to Frey, a shortage of aluminum has affected the supply of crutches, and a fire in a resin factory led to shortages of several materials.

Manufacturers also switched gears earlier in the pandemic when medical supplies for surgeries weren’t needed for a number of months, which means stockpiles are low or nonexistent as hospitals play catch-up on surgeries, she said.

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