Many Canadians are asking this question. We deal with medical wait times even with no pandemics. Now that all the healthcare resources are directed towards treating Covid-19 patients, rightfully so, those who had a surgery cancelled or postponed are facing a lot of uncertainty, more than ever. They are patiently waiting in pain to find out when they will be seen by a specialist or when their new surgery is going to take place.
So, how long? Here is what we know from the recent articles published in the media. This article states that after the SARS epidemic in Toronto in 2003 when elective surgeries were suspended for a number of weeks, it took months. It doesn’t state how many months or how many surgeries were postponed. CBC News estimated close to 100,000 patients had their surgeries delayed. Sounds like a lot, but we really can’t tell what that means in terms of catch up time. It is possible that hospitals are able to catch up quickly.
However, many news reports state the difficulties of reopening and all the challenges that may arise with its safe implementation. In this article, the issues of asymptomatic COVID cases, the availability of PPEs, anesthetic drugs and ventilators are raised. Most likely everyone scheduled for surgery will have to get a negative COVID-19 test within a certain time frame prior to the surgery. So that is an additional burden on the testing centers. What we see in the US, those states that are reopening their elective surgery require a negative test within 48h to 7 days, depending on the state.
Provincial governments and healthcare professionals are keenly aware of this situation. The process of addressing the wait times will have to be gradual. There is a potential, some say, inevitable, of the second wave of COVID-19. Our healthcare resources are tied. We have to be patient. That doesn’t mean just sit and wait. Here are some things you can do.
- Reach out to your physiotherapist or chiropractor to ask them what exercises you can do at home. If your condition changed, be sure to mention all the details.
- If your condition worsens dramatically, contact your doctor to tell them the new information. Most family doctors are able to do a phone consultation or a virtual appointment.
- Consider your private options for the future. By getting a medical records review done with Health Vantis you are not obligated to proceed. However, should you decide that your post-COVID wait time is too long, you will be ready.
In our next blog, we will talk about private surgery after COVID-19.
If you have any questions regarding your private surgical options in other provinces or in the US, please reach out to us toll-free 877 344 3544.