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News release
May 11, 2021

Ontario’s doctors urge government to commit necessary resources to clear pandemic backlog

TORONTO, May 11, 2021 — Ontario’s doctors called on the provincial government today to commit whatever resources are necessary to clear the growing pandemic deficit of health-care services.

The Ontario Medical Association has been warning for months of the growing backlog of deferred and delayed routine exams, vaccinations, diagnostic tests, treatments and non-emergency surgeries. Some Ontarians have seen treatable conditions worsen, and have even died, because of these delays.

The government’s Financial Accountability Office (FAO) said there will be a wait-list of 419,200 surgeries and almost 2.5 million diagnostic tests and procedures by the end of September. The FAO said in a report that it will cost $1.3 billion over the next three years to clear the backlog but the province allocated only half that amount, $610 million, in the 2021 budget.

“Ontario’s doctors do not want any patient to suffer as a result of delayed care,” said Dr. Samantha Hill, president of the Ontario Medical Association. “The pandemic deficit is huge and growing, and the government needs to devote adequate resources to clearing it as soon as possible.”

The OMA made recommendations about addressing the backlog in its pre-budget submission in February.

About the OMA

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.

For more information, please contact: OMA Media Relations