Doctors Manitoba says not only does the diagnostic and surgery backlog in the province continue to grow, but backups are occurring across much of the health-care system.
Numbers from November and December 2021 show the backlog for diagnostic and surgical procedures is at 153,320 cases, which is an increase of 1,204 from the last estimate.
57,287 surgery cases have been delayed, which is up more than 1,600 from the last numbers provided.
However slight improvements have been made to backlogs in diagnostic imaging cases and other diagnostic procedures.
These numbers are before Omicron ripped through the province.
But the delays are now being felt throughout much of the health-care system.
“I’ve never seen it this bad,” Doctors Manitoba President Dr. Kristjan Thompson said.
He says it’s being caused by both a sharp increase in demand for care, and an increase in physician & staff absenteeism and isolation requirements.
The backup in care includes delays in access to hospital beds, ER care, ambulance availability, outpatient clinics, and in medical clinics.
“Patients are facing lengthy delays for admission and it’s not uncommon for patients to be waiting days in ER for admission,” Thompson said. “And this is making patients in our waiting room wait much longer as well.”
The backup includes disruptions and staff shortages at many rural hospitals.
“For the next coming weeks, Manitobans will see delays when they seek care and this is because of the stretched capacity and limited resources in our health-care system right now,” Thompson said.
“We just do not have the surge capacity to deal with the volumes we are seeing.”