By Mitch Geisler, CEO, LevelJump Healthcare Corp.
Canada’s overwhelmingly troubled healthcare system continues to dominate conversations among many, particularly those residing in the province of Ontario. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to tackle these issues, actionable steps can be implemented to enhance healthcare quality for all.
What has led our healthcare system to deteriorate to this extent? We’ve all seen the headlines, the collateral damage from the COVID-19 pandemic has been severe.
One of the most significant ongoing challenges continues to be the excessive waiting periods endured in Emergency Rooms. Once again, Canadian ER’s face another summer of record-setting wait times and closures. In addition to the array of other commonly discussed substantial concerns—including the extensive waitlist for specialists, physician burnout, critical shortages in nursing staff and other health professionals. We’ve reached an unprecedented low.
It’s time to restructure the healthcare system. We must initiate tangible and immediate actions at all tiers of the healthcare framework to bring about substantial improvements.
Necessary adjustments must be implemented to safeguard emergency healthcare services for all Canadians, along with our healthcare providers who consistently bear the weight of the demand for critical care. Frontline workers received widespread recognition across government bodies throughout the pandemic and its aftermath for their unwavering commitment and tireless efforts. Why are they left to continue carrying the brunt of this ongoing crisis?
One of the pillars of healthcare that remains in a massive backlog as a result of the pandemic is diagnostic imaging. Fortunately, some government bodies have begun to take important steps to improve Ontario’s healthcare system. Ontario, being the most populated province in all of Canada, is home to almost half of all Canadians at 40%. Earlier this year, Bill 60, Your Health Act, was passed through the Ontario Legislature. This crucial bill will allow Independent Health Facilities to expand the scope of their imaging license to MRI and CT, which is a significant move towards addressing the backlog and improving timely access to diagnostic imaging services.
Whether it be MRI, CT, X-Ray Mammography or Ultrasound, these services are indispensable as they play a large role in the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of serious conditions. While the accessibility of diagnostic imaging remains only one of the many ongoing issues in Canada’s current healthcare system, there is no doubt that expanding access is imperative to preserving and prolonging the health of Canadians.
We must continue to find innovative ways to broaden healthcare access for all Canadians, as the capacity of our current system has certainly been hit. This is why we must look to expanding healthcare access through the collaboration of both private and government players. Enabling privately owned facilities to conduct procedures usually performed in public hospitals helps alleviate the strain on overworked radiology groups, understaffed hospitals, and overall shortages in emergency care. However, ensuring quality care, adequate staffing, seamless public-private collaboration and cost-effectiveness is vital for sustainable and effective implementation.
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