New Brunswick Tribune

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Doctors in New Brunswick are preparing for the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic

New Brunswick doctors are preparing for the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic

Key takeaways:

  • Health officials expect case numbers and hospitalizations to skyrocket in the coming weeks as Omicron reaches its peak.
  • Due to illness or exposure, hundreds of healthcare workers have been forced to leave their jobs. This figure is expected to rise as well.

This week, residents of New Brunswick were reminded that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over.

As Omicron reaches its peak, health officials expect case numbers and hospitalizations to skyrocket in the coming weeks.

This makes it difficult for healthcare providers to make decisions.

Officials expect 5,500 cases per day and up to 220 active hospitalizations, with the highest numbers in late January or early February.

Also read: In the coming weeks, officials in NB expect up to 5,500 COVID-19 cases per day

The province’s hospitals, which are already overburdened with COVID-19 patients, are bracing for more as strategies are devised to deal with the influx.

At a COVID-19 technical briefing on Tuesday, Dr. John Dornan, interim president and CEO of Horizon Health Network, said, “We don’t have a facility that doesn’t have some outbreak area.” “And we can’t just close the door on such hospitals when we have programs like the heart center and neurosurgical centers.”

Hundreds of healthcare workers have been forced to leave their jobs due to illness or exposure. This figure is also expected to rise.

Dr. Mark MacMillan, president of the New Brunswick Medical Society, said the healthcare system is currently managing the pressure, but staff absences are extremely difficult to overcome.

“As much as we want to provide the best care we can,” MacMillan said, “you need someone there to do it.” “We can’t just make doctors up out of thin air.” We won’t be able to produce nurses in a timely manner. Some of us will have to start moving around to cover for other people’s absences due to illness. So, we’re in a bad situation, and we don’t want to be here, but we are.”

New Brunswick doctors are preparing for the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic
New Brunswick doctors are preparing for the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. image from CTV News

According to MacMillan, Horizon, and Vitalité, health networks are developing contingency plans to deal with severe staff shortages, such as postponing or canceling certain services and redeploying available personnel.

According to Horizon’s MacMillan, those plans are contingent on whether a hospital is in a “conventional, contingent, or crisis” state of care. Each level heightens the sense of impending doom and can lead to drastic action.

“When you’re in a crisis, you’ll see more things like people being called back to work two days after a positive test simply because we need to bring them back, and they need to work for us,” MacMillan said. “Those things have happened in the past, and they will continue to happen in the future.”

According to MacMillan, asking for help from the federal government is “an option,” but it’s up to the Department of Health to decide.

This week, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard told Global News that such a request is not on the table right now.

Source: Global News

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