Ontario's doctors push province to create non-profit surgical centres for backlog

TORONTO — Ontario's doctors are pushing lawmakers to create specialized non-profit clinics to tackle a massive surgical backlog that worsened during the pandemic.

The Ontario Medical Association says it would like to see stand-alone centres created that focus on one type of surgery.

President Dr. Rose Zacharias says these centres would be more efficient and allow for more patients to get their procedures completed.

Zacharias says the centres would focus on elective surgeries, such as replacing knees and hips.

The medical association says the surgical backlog sits at more than one million procedures waiting to be done.

The province's health system is under significant pressure – emergency departments closed for hours or days at a time in the summer and into the fall while children's hospitals have been cancelling surgeries to deal with a massive influx of patients with respiratory illnesses.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2022.

The Canadian Press