TORONTO, April 9, 2021—Ontario’s doctors support the government’s decision to halt non-emergency surgeries as an unfortunate but necessary step to reduce the death toll from COVID-19.
The Ontario Medical Association said the order is necessary to preserve capacity in the health-care system to treat not just COVID patients but others with critical illnesses or injuries.
More than 500 Ontarians are in intensive care units – the highest number since the pandemic began – and more than 3,000 people continue to test positive for the virus every day. The new, more contagious versions of the virus are striking younger people and entire families.
“I am sad that we have come to the point again where we have to delay care for patients who have been waiting too long already in order to try to ensure that no one dies because of a lack of acute care resources,” said OMA President Dr. Samantha Hill.
Ontario’s doctors strongly emphasize and agree with the government message that primary care providers will continue their important role in maintaining care for Ontarians, including cancer screenings, routine immunizations and in some practices COVID-19 immunizations. Other specialists are also continuing to treat and care for their patients.
Anyone needing urgent care should go their nearest emergency department where they can be confidant that the highest safety and infection control measures are in place.
“Your doctor’s office is open,” stressed OMA CEO Allan O’Dette. “Physicians are seeing patients, and have been throughout the pandemic, whether virtually, by phone or in person where appropriate.”
Ontario’s doctors urge everyone to be patient while we wait for this new directive and the province-wide lockdown to start having an impact. If we all follow the stay-at-home order and public health guidelines and get the first vaccine offered to us, we can get through this.
The Ontario Medical Association represents Ontario’s 43,000-plus physicians, medical students and retired physicians, advocating for and supporting doctors while strengthening the leadership role of doctors in caring for patients. Our vision is to be the trusted voice in transforming Ontario’s health-care system.