Shortage of anesthesiologists leads to operating room closures in Alberta, doctors say – CBC

‘Our situation is quite dire,’ says Red Deer doctor

Jul 18, 2023

Doctors in Alberta say a countrywide shortage of anesthesiologists is taking a toll on surgery patients in the province.

According to the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society, Canada has far fewer anesthesiologists for every 100,000 people than other countries, including the United States and Australia.

The organization says that is contributing to surgical delays around the country.

In the central Alberta city of Red Deer, doctors say operating rooms are now regularly shuttered because there aren’t any anesthesiologists available.

“Our situation is quite dire,” said Dr. Trevor Rudge, who is one of the few left.

“We need 50 per cent more anesthesiologists. We have about half the number we need.”

According to Rudge, that means elective surgeries ranging from hysterectomies to hip and knee replacements are being cancelled.

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