'They are telling me how overwhelmed our ICU is': Victoria hospitals see influx of COVID-19 patients

Crystal Mundy says she is speaking on behalf of 20 doctors and nurses at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria who are afraid to come forward.

“They are telling me about how overwhelmed our ICU is,” says Mundy.

She has been following B.C.’s covid-19 numbers closely and speaking about them on social media. She says over the last two weeks, more health-care workers in Victoria have been writing to her, venting their frustrations.

“They have stated that there has just been a very big increase in terms of pressure and resources, in cases of COVID coming in,” says Mundy.

She is hearing from staff that the ICU is at capacity, that beds in other areas of the hospital are being repurposed to treat COVID-19 patients and surgeries are being bumped.

“With the significant increase in COVID cases across Island Health over the past few weeks we are seeing increasing impacts on our hospitals, including our critical care units,” Island Health said in a statement to CTV News.

“Last week, in response to increasing hospitalizations, we establish an inpatient unit for COVID patients at Victoria General Hospital to help support the increased demand for patients requiring hospitalization, but who do not require critical care,” the health authority added.

Mundy claims she is also hearing the current staffing shortage has staff at a breaking point.

“There are workers that have been sick, there’s workers that have left, there’s workers that maybe aren’t vaccinated that aren’t coming in,” says Mundy. “Whether or not they can physically take another patient, the mental well-being of these workers can’t take any more.”

Island Health admits the increased number of COVID-19 patients is challenging health-care teams.

Mundy says she fears the problem could become dire.

“If we have something like a big car crash or a ferry accident or something like that, we would have no resources to deal with that right now,” says Mundy. “We would have none.”

Island Health says it can implement surge critical care beds should they be required.