Canada’s COVID-19 crisis forces medical groups into emergency meeting

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More than 30 national and provincial health organizations are trying to determine which devastating effects COVID-19 has on Canadian health care first as they work to lift the country out of the crisis.

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The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and the Canadian Federation of Nurse Unions (CFNU) held an emergency summit Tuesday night to discuss how to proceed as the pandemic has brought the health system to a breaking point with no end in sight. Not there.

Organizations are particularly concerned about the growing surgical backlog and the impact it will have on patients’ quality of life in the coming years.

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The well-being of health workers is also top of mind, as they report exhaustion, morale and low staff for 18 months straight.

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CMA President Dr. Katherine Smart is expected to brief reporters on Wednesday morning about the meeting.

CFNU President Linda Silas said the CMA and other organizations are already working together to lobby the government to create a national health workforce agency to better plan for the future of health human resources.

CFNU wants to see that the summit continues to focus their advocacy on the healthcare shortage, which has been exacerbated by exhausted nurses and other workers leaving the industry altogether.

Silas said nurses are feeling overstimulated and overwhelmed and this is affecting the level of care they can provide to their patients.

“The crime is very heavy on their shoulders and they feel heavy all the time because of not being able to do their job properly,” she said.

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She said the summit is not only related to hospital issues such as surgical backlogs and overcrowded ICU beds, but also the impact of the pandemic on long-term care and home care.

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