COVID-19 has delayed more than 16,000 surgeries and procedures in Alberta, as well as 353,000 nationally, according to a recent report.
On Thursday, public policy think tank SecondStreet.org released data on the number of surgeries, procedures and consultations with specialists that were postponed due to the pandemic.
Nine provinces provided data showing 205,549 postponements. The Ontario government indicated it had no records on the subject, but data from the Canadian Medical Association Journal has estimated there were 148,364 postponed surgeries in the province. This brings the national total to at least 353,000.
Alberta had 16,893 postponements.
“When COVID emerged, governments postponed hundreds of thousands of non-COVID surgeries, procedures and consultations with specialists,” said SecondStreet.org president Colin Craig.
“Not only has that increased waiting lists, it has caused tremendous patient suffering, sometimes even resulting in death.”
Craig said governments could be “much more transparent” about patient suffering due to postponed surgeries and procedures.
“We know some patients have died from surgical delays, but we really don’t know the extent of the problem.”