After two years of COVID, London medical doctors are sounding the alarm over burnout

0
170

Breadcrumb Trail Links

Publication date:

04/08/20221 day ago2 minutes read 31 comments The Emergency Department of the London Health Sciences Center is seen in this Free Press file photo

content of the article

Doctor shortages and burnout, diagnostic backlogs and patients delaying care.

advertising 2

This ad has not yet loaded, but your article continues below.

content of the article

As the healthcare system begins to recover from two years of pandemic-related setbacks, the GP, who heads a major London doctors’ group, is urging voters to make healthcare a ballot box issue this June.

Sharad Rai, President of the London District Academy of Medicine, said the COVID-19 crisis has created new problems for GPs and exacerbated existing health system problems, such as surgical and diagnostic wait times.

“We really need Ontarians to reach out to all political parties and really make healthcare an electoral issue,” Rai said.

“I encourage Ontarians of all political persuasions to reach out to their candidates and emphasize that we need solutions to the problems our healthcare system is facing.”

advertising 3

This ad has not yet loaded, but your article continues below.

content of the article

Ontario voters will go to the polls no later than June 2nd.

In the London area, including St Thomas and Strathroy, the Ontario Medical Association said there were vacancies for 94 doctors. Rai said many GPs have been burned out by the work pressures caused by the pandemic and several in the London area have decided to retire in the last two years.

“We have more Londoners than ever before and we have over a million Ontarians who don’t have a GP,” he said. Access to child and adolescent psychiatry in the region is an ongoing problem.

Since March 2020, London’s hospitals have performed about 11,300 fewer surgeries than they would have expected in non-pandemic times. While totals include patients whose procedures have been postponed during pandemic waves, it also includes those who are not yet in the system because of delays in diagnostic testing or specialist referrals.

advertising 4

This ad has not yet loaded, but your article continues below.

content of the article

It’s these patients, who may be living with undiagnosed diseases, that pose a big problem, Rai said.

As the province works to recover from two years of continuous COVID-19 restrictions, Rai wants health system improvements and basic care support to be the focus in the post-pandemic emergency phase.

Primary care physicians could benefit from medical clerks handling some patient records, Rai said, or from policies streamlining referrals to specialists.

Rai said the public could benefit from expanded access to family health teams, a model where patients have access to a range of doctors and other professionals, including nurses, orderlies and sometimes nutritionists or social workers.

“There are structural problems that London GPs cannot solve overnight. We need government support to help us do that,” he said.

[email protected]

Share this article on your social network

Advertisement

This ad has not yet loaded, but your article continues below.

Display 1

This ad has not yet loaded, but your article continues below.

By clicking the subscribe button, you agree to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. Postmedia Network Inc | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300

Remarks

Postmedia strives to maintain a lively but civilized discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their opinions on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour to be moderated before they appear on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We’ve turned on email notifications – you’ll now receive an email when you get a reply to your comment, there’s an update on a comment thread you follow, or when a user you follow comments follows. For more information and details on how to customize your email settings, see our Community Guidelines.