Toronto, November 17, 2022 — Ontario is set to face its worst flu season in five years, and with the continuing threat of COVID-19 and recent onset of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), ER wait times are reaching record highs and Ontario pediatric ICUs are operating above capacity.
What is being referred to as a “tridemic” of respiratory illnesses is wreaking havoc on our already-overburdened healthcare system. Patients are suffering, especially infants, who are being hit the hardest by RSV amidst a country-wide shortage of children’s acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Ontario’s children’s hospitals are now limiting surgeries to prioritize urgent procedures for patients with serious respiratory conditions.
Children are not the only ones at risk; older Ontarians and people with underlying health conditions are also vulnerable to these potentially life-threatening respiratory viruses. As WeRPN recently reported, the increased pressure on Ontario’s healthcare system is also negatively affecting nurses, which in turn affects patient care.
As the demand on Ontario’s healthcare system continues to grow, WeRPN is strongly urging Ontarians to help reduce the strain by wearing masks in crowded and indoor environments; booking appointments for flu shots and COVID-19 vaccinations (for those who are eligible); remaining at home when sick; and adhering to safety guidelines put forth by the government and healthcare officials.
It is imperative that we take every step possible to protect our most vulnerable residents during this time. Together we can reduce the strain on our healthcare system and keep each other safe.