CHEO signals ‘impasse’ as surge in ER visits leads to long waits


“We simply have more people needing care right now than we have space, beds and people,” the hospital says.

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An increase in visits to CHEO’s emergency department over the past six weeks resulted in sixteen patients waiting for emergency beds over the weekend, “for the first time in memory,” the hospital says.

The result was “a traffic jam effect” that left families who did not need immediate care waiting longer than usual, the hospital said via social media on Sunday. CHEO also said it has canceled some procedures for the coming week and postponed others.

“Obviously, we don’t do this lightly. It hurts us to do so. But that’s the reality. We simply have more people needing care right now than we have space, beds and people,” the hospital tweeted.

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According to the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), the health care backlog created by the COVID-19 pandemic has reached nearly 22 million services, ranging from routine checkups and childhood vaccinations to diagnostic tests and surgeries. – an increase of one million services in the last three months alone.

CHEO has urged parents to assess whether their children’s condition requires a trip to the hospital via a document on its website and to find alternatives, such as a family doctor or a walk-in clinic.

But he said if a trip to hospital is necessary, “our staff and medical staff will do everything in their power to get you the world-class, timely care you deserve.”

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