There’s a fine line between reassuring people and being blind to reality.
While the federal government is claiming the healthcare system is “well-prepared” for the Coronavirus, some hospitals are saying otherwise.
According to a recent Toronto Star report, hospitals are telling the feds that the system is “already stretched thin,” and could struggle to cope with the growing Coronavirus outbreak:
“The hospitals say they need help now to “dramatically scale up” respiratory virus testing, to collaborate on laboratory analysis to quickly share data with other hospitals, and to protect staff amid a COVID-19 outbreak that has arrived in flu season, according to the national advocacy group for health care organizations and hospitals.
Add to that a run on masks and other personal protective equipment, a documented shortage of critical care beds, and a new federal warning to all persons entering Canada from anywhere in the world to “self-monitor” for symptoms of COVID-19, and you see a system that could quickly come to a breaking point.
That’s despite federal insistence the health system is “well-prepared” to deal with the growing numbers of confirmed cases in Canada — 51 as of Friday — and to trace all their contacts to contain the spread, according to Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.”
The report also makes includes a concern note, with Paul-Émile CLoutier, the President of HealthCareCAN – an advocacy group for 50 of Canada’s top hospitals, saying “it’s not all under control.”
“Paul-Émile Cloutier, president of HealthCareCAN, the national advocate for more than 50 of the country’s top hospitals and health-care networks, said in an exclusive interview with the Star that he understands that federal officials are trying to assure Canadians that it’s all under control “but we know as experts and as people who work in the system, it’s not all under control.””
Additional concerns are speeding up testing and assuring quick reporting of results, but also the importance of protecting health workers. After all, if health workers are getting infected the risk of systemic healthcare collapse rises significantly.
Face mask supplies are also at risk, since many of the masks ironically come from China, where the economy is at a standstill – another reason why we need to be less dependent on foreign countries economically.
There is a fine line between reassuring people, and being blind to reality. From the beginning, the federal government has seemed to downplay the virus at every turn, which can create complacency and make things even worse.
Especially when it comes to pandemics, it’s much wiser to be ruthless and overreact at the beginning, because if the reaction comes too late the consequences can be dire.
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