“Exhausted, scared”: frontline workers exhausted in fourth wave, doctor says
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues through an intense fourth wave in the province, frontline hospital staff are operating on empty tanks.
Modeling of the Public Health Agency of Canada released in early September shows the western provinces, and includes Quebec, experiencing an increase in cases and hospitalizations. In Saskatchewan, there are 228 hospitalizations as of Saturday.
This is the highest number of hospitalizations since the beginning of February.
Based on April 2021 government population estimates and current hospitalizations, Saskatchewan has approximately 19.3 people hospitalized with COVID-19 per 100,000 people. About three in four of them are not fully vaccinated.
In Ontario, there are approximately 2.2 people hospitalized per 100,000 population.
Frontline workers have expressed their distress when hospitals fill up. Advocates warn of the toll this could have on the healthcare sector
“We don’t have the capacity and manpower to deal with COVID and at the same time provide intensive care to non-COVID patients,” said Dr. Ann Collins, former president of the Canadian Medical Association .
“Put simply, the long-term consequence is that if we don’t have a healthy, healthy workforce, we won’t have health care.
In a document obtained by CBC News, projections shared in front of a virtual town hall with doctors Thursday night indicated that Saskatchewan could see a seven-day moving average of 125 people infected in intensive care units by September 30.
On September 10, the province announced it would cut non-discretionary and non-essential services to expand peak hospital capacity, including an increase in intensive care unit beds to 130 beds, from 79. welcome 80 patients screened with COVID-19 and 50 without.
Infectious disease specialist Dr Alex Wong told CBC News that the “ability to create extra roll-up beds – and, more importantly, to staff those beds – is really, really limited.”
Collins told CBC’s Leisha Grebinski on Saskatoon Morning that the health care system was already having problems, which were exacerbated by COVID-19. She said the system needs to change and signaled to political leaders as the ones who need to fill the gaps in the health care system.
On top of that and overcrowded hospitals, nurses faced protests outside Saskatchewan hospitals during the province’s fourth wave.
“They’re exhausted; they’re frustrated; and now, unfortunately, in some cases, to add to all that worry, they’re scared,” Collins said.
“They not only face internal pressures in their workplace, but in parts of our country [they’re] facing really unfortunate and uninformed challenges to get in or out of their job. “