A new groundbreaking report reveals that 1,480 Canadians died from 2018 to 2019 while waiting for surgery – including some potentially life-saving treatments.
According to SecondStreet.org, the number was reported by 50 hospitals and health regions across the country, however, the dataset is incomplete since the hospitals that were surveyed only serve less than half of Canada’s population.
“Governments require businesses to report even minor workplace accidents, such as cases where an employee is bruised at work,” said SecondStreet.org President Colin Craig in a statement on the report.
“Yet, we found nearly 1,500 cases of patients dying while waiting for care and governments don’t even report the more egregious cases publicly.”
Patients who died while waiting for surgeries were found to have been waiting anywhere from less than a month to over eight years to have an operation.
Their causes of death were found to have been linked to the conditions they were waiting to be treated.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, there has been a drastic decline in potentially life-saving treatments being conducted by hospitals.
According to figures from the Ontario Ministry of Health, between March 15 to September 29, treatments for breast cancer and prostate cancer have gone down 29% and 25% respectively.
On average, the province has reported a total of 21% fewer cancer treatments in total.
Surgeries on children were also heavily impacted by the pandemic after reporting a decline of nearly 60%. In comparison, in 2019, 28,844 surgeries were performed on children, while in 2020 there were only 11,230.