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News release
Feb. 10, 2022

Ontario’s doctors applaud resumption of non-urgent surgeries and procedures

TORONTO, Feb. 10, 2022 — Ontario’s doctors welcome the government’s decision today to revoke the order pausing non-urgent surgeries and procedures.

“The Ontario Medical Association has been advocating for rescinding the order as soon as it was safe to do so,” said President Dr. Adam Kassam. “The announcement today is welcome news as patients across the province have had health-care visits, treatments, procedures and surgeries delayed. Ontario’s doctors are committed to leading our system to address the pandemic backlog and recognize a collaborative approach will be necessary to address these needs.”

Before the province paused non-urgent surgeries and procedures on Jan. 4 because of the Omicron variant, the OMA estimated the pandemic had caused a backlog of 20 million patient services. The number will have grown since.

The OMA supported the government’s decision last month for a phased and targeted approach of removing the order known as Directive 2 staring Jan. 31 and is pleased to see the full resumption can now begin.

Fully resuming surgeries and procedures is a critical step in addressing the province’s growing medical backlog. But solutions will need to be found that address the fact that physicians and other health-care workers have been working on the front lines of the pandemic for two years and many are suffering from burnout.

The OMA makes many recommendations on clearing the backlog in its Prescription for Ontario: Doctors’ 5-Point Plan for Better Health Care and welcomes the opportunity to work with government on implementing them.

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 further information, please contact:
Leslie Shepherd, OMA Director of Earned and Social Media