Hospitals are under ‘unprecedented’ strain from staff shortages, says Ontario Health VP – CBC

Dr. Chris Simpson tells Ontarians to seek the help they need, despite closed ERs and longer wait times

Aug 08, 2022

The problems plaguing Ontario’s health-care system have been around for a long time, but each wave of the COVID-19 pandemic makes things worse, says Dr. Chris Simpson.

Simpson is a cardiologist in Kingston, Ont., and the executive vice-president of Ontario Health, the provincial agency overseeing Ontario’s hospitals.

Those hospitals are struggling with severe staffing shortages, especially of nurses. Things hit a breaking point in Ottawa over the weekend when two hospitals were forced to temporarily close their emergency departments. Similar situations have been playing out across the province, and the country.

Unions representing Ontario’s health-care workers say the province must take “immediate steps” to address the crisis, including offering financial incentives to hire and retain more nurses, and repealing legislation that caps workers’ wages.

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