Nadia Alam, the president-elect of the Ontario Medical Association disclosed a frightening story about a new born baby that died on the way to the hospital and the mom nearly died because the one and only anesthetist was away. There is a shortage of 15-20 doctors and a critical shortage of anesthetists, psychiatrics, pediatricians and surgeons in Northwest Ontario.
Doctors are constantly finding it hard to make sure their patients have timely access to care and necessary specialists. Many people have to drive hours to see a doctor and wait times are absurdly long.
There was one man who was places on a wait list of 2 years for a long-term care bed within a 3-hour drive. This particular man had dementia and violent tendencies. The home would have been the best option for him, but since the wait time is so long, the wife had no option but to keep him at home. This putting them both in danger.
France Picotte, a resident of Timmins, Ontario lost her husband as he waited to see a heart specialist. Her 90-year-old mother has to make 300 km trips to Sudbury, Ontario.
Although there is a hospital and healthcare team in Timmins, many have to make the treacherous drive (especially in Winter) to Sudbury for specialty care.
The Health Quality Ontario report said that there are a number of efforts being taken to improve access to care. They found that most of the inequities can be attributed to the fact that the population is spread over a vast area with many remote communities. The efforts being taken to improve these conditions are telemedicine, provincial grants that cover some of the costs of travelling, and Aboriginal Health Access centres that serve First Nations, Metis and Inuit people.
Read the full artice: CTV News