Emergency departments are temporarily closing across Canada and throughout Ontario, including Bowmanville, Perth, Carleton Place, the Montfort in Ottawa. ICUs are at maximum capacity at the Toronto General Hospital. Over a dozen Ontario hospitals have been affected. All of this is due to severe staffing shortages.
Canada has lacked a national workforce strategy since 2007. Nurses are burning out and quitting in part due to inadequate financial incentives. Some are leaving for Alberta and for the United States. Over eight per cent of our nurses are internationally trained. The Ontario College of Nursing processed only 2,000 last year and 4,300 this year to date, but at least 26,000 are still waiting. Of note is a nurse, formerly from Hamilton, who lives in Windsor and was approved in only four days for a licence in Michigan!
A similar problem limits the number of foreign-trained MDs….