'Rename it Doug Ford Urgent Don't Care': Ontario medical workers, residents furious as healthcare crisis spreads

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is maintaining that the province's healthcare system is meeting the needs of people in the province, as emergency and intensive care units in hospitals have been forced to shut down or reduce operations.

"There's a log-jam but 90 per cent of the patients are getting taken care of when they're going into the hospital," Ford said at a press conference on Wednesday, specifying that surgeries are happening at about 90 per cent of pre-pandemic level.

"Nine out of 10 people going into emergency departments are being taken care of."

The premier added that for emergency departments specifically, patients are being "taken care of" within eight hours.

The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) indicated that about 25 hospitals in Ontario were forced to reduce operations over the long weekend due to staff shortages.

University Health Network's Toronto General Hospital is under a "critical care bed alert" in its Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit, where they are at total bed capacity or do not have the human resources necessary to keep all the physical critical care beds open safely.

Ford continues to call for increased funding from the federal government, while a report from the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO), released in April, found that the province's spending on health care, per person, was the lowest in Canada.

The premier also stressed on Wednesday that the staffing shortages in hospitals, particularly among nurses, is not specific to Ontario.

This isn't unique to Ontario. This is happening across the country, it's across the world, we need more people involved in health care.Ontario Premier Doug Ford

"We're in need of more nurses, as many as we can get."

People across Ontario, including health experts and professionals, have taken to social media to call on Ford's government to address the hospital staffing crisis.