Healthcare Backlog

Doctors warn urgent action needed to address Healthcare backlogs.

The Minister of Health is not about to change course regarding the reopening of medical services, but doctors openly disagree with his approach and call the situation critical.

Doctors told news conference yesterday that people who are priority three are not even being looked at right now.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association paints a picture which shows the system operating at about 40 -50 percent capacity.

Until recently, physicians were being told by a panel of non-surgeons which patients get in for surgery.

St. John’s Gastroenterology, Dr. Jerry McGrath says even if the system goes to 75 or 85 percent capacity next week, the wait list for his field would continue to grow.

Urologist/oncologist Dr. Paul Johnston of St. John’s said we should not be saving our bullets while we wait for a second wave of COVID-19. He feels the urgent need is now.

He says you’re going to see people potentially lose several years of life, perhaps five years or so down the road. As a cancer surgeon, he says it’s not an easy story to write, and that he is worried.