When Canadians can't get family doctors, walk-in clinics are backlogged and there are no nurses available to provide long-term care in homes or facilities, it doesn't take much for a patient to arrive at an emergency room as a last resort. But even there, they may not find help, unless they're willing to wait, and wait, and wait.
A doctor who works in emergency rooms describes lines of ambulances, waiting but unable to drop off patients. Patients in chairs waiting for beds. And in the middle of it all, fewer doctors and nurses to care even for the critically ill patients that do make it to a bed. Emergency rooms were in trouble before the pandemic. Now they are about to collapse. But there are solutions, if we have the courage for them.
GUEST: Dr. Kashif Pirzada, emergency room physician