Ontario Liberals promise $1B to clear surgery backlog from pandemic

CKTB - NEWS - St. Catharines hospital

The Ontario Liberals are promising to put $1 billion over two years toward clearing a surgical backlog.
    
Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca says the COVID-19 pandemic has put an incredible strain on health-care services and health-care professionals.
    
He says a Liberal government would put the additional funding into allowing hospitals to operate ``significantly'' above pre-pandemic volumes and expand operating room and diagnostic procedures into evenings and weekends.
    
The Ontario Medical Association estimated last fall that the pandemic had created a backlog of 20 million health-care services including doctors' visits, diagnostic tests, treatments and surgeries.
    
In March, then-health minister Christine Elliott said the surgical backlog was around 50,000.
    
The Liberals say they will also help create not-for-profit surgery centres managed by local hospitals to manage higher surgical volumes.