On­tario has no plan for surgery back­log

Ottawa Citizen - - Opinion -

Last May, Bri­tish Columbia and On­tario took starkly dif­fer­ent ap­proaches to plans to re­sume elec­tive surg­eries following COVID -19-re­lated can­cel­la­tions. B.C.’s gov­ern­ment promised to elim­i­nate the sur­gi­cal back­log within 17 to 24 months by op­er­at­ing surgery rooms at max­i­mum ca­pac­ity and hir­ing ad­di­tional staff. It also com­mit­ted to is­su­ing writ­ten re­ports on progress be­gin­ning in July. On­tario dodged com­mit­ments, re­leas­ing in­stead a “planning ” doc­u­ment for hos­pi­tals. Not good enough.

Last month, B.C. — as promised — re­leased its first writ­ten up­date. It re­ported that op­er­at­ing rooms are es­sen­tially back at full ca­pac­ity, surg­eries have been com­pleted for 52 per cent of the 17,750 peo­ple whose op­er­a­tions were post­poned, and the re­main­ing back­log is ex­pected to be elim­i­nated in 15 months. Ex­cept for Doug Ford’s re­cent com­mit­ment to get the back­log “cleaned up as quickly as pos­si­ble,” we’ve heard crick­ets from On­tario.

For the sake of those in the back­log who were asked to make life-al­ter­ing sac­ri­fices in order to help us deal with the COVID-19 cri­sis, it’s time for greater trans­parency from our lead­ers on this is­sue.

Baxter Mac­Don­ald, Greely that the Flats were re­quired for a new Na­tional De­fence head­quar­ters. It was never built. Now that years have passed and the orig­i­nal own­ers have died, the land is largely be­ing trans­ferred for pri­vate de­vel­op­ment. This is dis­hon­est. LeBre­ton Flats should re­main pub­lic prop­erty and be de­voted en­tirely to pub­lic and so­cial use. The NCC doesn’t own the Flats in the pri­vate-prop­erty sense. It holds them in trust for us.

Lind­say Lam­bert, Ot­tawa

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