Ford prepared to ask surgeons to work weekend to clear backlog

Published on September 10, 2020

TORONTO — Ontario’s surgeons may be asked to start working weekends in order to clear a major backlog of procedures delayed by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the province’s premier said Thursday as he pledged funding to help tackle the issue.

Doug Ford’s comments came 10 days after modelling research painted a stark picture of surgery wait times across the province.

The data, published earlier this month in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, suggested more than 148,000 procedures were postponed between mid-March, when elective operations were cancelled due to the lockdown, and May, when those restrictions eased. Researchers estimated the backlog would take at least a year and a half to clear.

Ford pegged the backlog at more than 180,000 on Thursday as he said government officials are working on solutions to address the issue.