Surgery backlog due to COVID-19 could take 84 weeks to clear: study
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, September 1, 2020 1:51PM EDT
TORONTO - A new study suggests it could take more than a year and a half to clear the backlog of surgeries in Ontario hospitals caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Modelling research published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal says the estimated time to clear surgeries postponed due to the pandemic is 84 weeks, with a target of 717 surgeries per week.
The provincial government instructed Ontario hospitals to cancel elective surgeries and other activities deemed not urgent in mid-March to prepare for a possible surge of COVID-19 patients.
That directive was lifted in late May and hospitals gradually resumed performing those surgeries.
The study says that between March 15 and June 13, Ontario hospitals accrued a backlog of 148,364 procedures.
Its authors say the data will play an important role in health planning moving forward, and the modelling framework can be adapted to other jurisdictions.