The sooner you access healthcare the better your long-term health prospects are. But the Ontario Medical Association has stated that there’s a backlog of around 20 million healthcare services at present. This means people in Toronto aren’t getting the healthcare that they need when they need it. So just how big is the problem and is it affecting all healthcare services?
There are around 1 million delayed surgeries in Ontario at present. Concerns have been raised that this will shorten people’s lifespans, especially those with cancers. As the number of delayed surgeries continues to grow, healthcare practices will have to tighten the rules about who is and isn’t eligible for surgery and this will put more people at risk. In this case, the only option is to have surgery at a private healthcare facility. You could even choose to travel out of the province to get surgery quicker.
It’s recommended that all children in Canada have routine dental exams every six months. School-aged children usually have dental screenings in school, but this was halted in March 2020. As a result, there are significant delays in dental screening among children. Toronto Public Health (TPH) has only been seeing and treating children with emergency dental problems. Adults in Toronto have also been having problems getting dental care, but for another reason. 35% of people in the city say they don’t have dental insurance because they can’t afford it. Thankfully, there are ways for you to access dental treatment if you’re in this position. TPH and The Central Toronto Community Health Centre are two options. If you have severe pain, bleeding, an abscess, or similar you may need to visit an emergency dentist clinic. There are plenty of clinics to choose from in the area including Mississauga, Hamilton, and Ottawa, so you can rest assured no matter where you are in the province.
Toronto’s schools are typically responsible for immunizing children against serious diseases. Hepatitis B, Human Papilloma Virus, and meningococcal vaccines are some of the most important vaccines for children to have. But, latest figures predict that 73,000 children in grades 7 to 12 have skipped at least one dose of these vaccines over the past two years. Even doctors and nurses in public practices have put off giving children vaccines for measles, mumps, and rubella. This is a serious public health issue that could affect anyone in society. The vulnerable, including the immunosuppressed, very young, and the elderly are particularly at risk. It’s crucial that healthcare providers and schools swiftly act to ensure these children receive the vaccinations they’re due. Parents also need to check whether vaccinations are due and arrange for these to be administered as soon as possible.
It’s clear to see that there are major healthcare delays in Toronto and the rest of Ontario. While it will take time to get on top of these, there are things you can do to look after your health.