Ontario doctors say the backlog for certain services reaching crisis levels

The Ontario Medical Association says the backlog for certain services appears to be getting worse, growing roughly by one million in the last three months.

It now sits at 22 million.

According to an analysis by the OMA, the increase appears to be fuelled by the contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19.

OMA President Dr. Rose Zacharias said they need unprecedented support if they're ever going to get caught up.

"People are now going to wait not for months, but in some cases years to get the cancer screenings and surgeries that they've been waiting for -- it's an incredible crisis," said Zacharias.

The backlog ranges anywhere from routine checkups and childhood immunizations to diagnostic tests and surgeries.

The OMA said delays are bad for health outcomes and some individuals are waiting for more than one service.

"This is extremely worrisome to me and my colleagues, that patients are waiting this long to receive the surgical services and the procedures that they deserve," Zacharias said.

She said the backlog may be worse in some areas than due to available services.

"We know that over 350 physicians are needed right now in northern Ontario," said Zacharias

"People are getting sicker as they wait for their delayed surgeries and procedures and so we don't want to have to deal with a shortage of health care team providers. We would rather be in a situation where we have ample or at least enough."

It's calling on all parties to reveal their prescription to fix Ontario health care. They've also released a report card on how they feel the party's platforms shape up, along with what they say needs to be done.