By: Thomas I. LiknessEBC News Service
(Eagle News) — The western Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan should implement lockdowns immediately as the fourth wave of COVID-19 rages through the region, the Canadian Medical Association said Wednesday.
“We are now witnessing an unprecedented health care crisis in Alberta and Saskatchewan – and patients and health workers are experiencing unfathomable choices and consequences,” the association said in a release. “Early relaxation of public health measures has left two crumbling health care systems in their wake and the dire realities are now in full view.”
The association minced no words saying what is happening with the fourth wave was preventable.
Both provinces had eased public health restrictions over the summer. Both also have the lowest vaccination rates in the Canada.
Hospitals in Alberta and Saskatchewan are packed with COVID-19 patients — mostly unvaccinated.
ICUs are running at near full capacity.
That has resulted in a halt to routine medical care, with virtually all elective surgeries delayed indefinitely.
Alberta is on the verge of implementing a triage protocol to decide who will get treatment when resources dwindle even further.
Organ transplants delayed
The Global News network this morning reported a kidney transplant patient, who had a live donor, was told when he got to the hospital for his surgery earlier this month, the operation was canceled.
The patient says doctors told him there was not enough room the ICU to accommodate him and his donor.
The man will remain on dialysis until further notice.
This week, Saskatchewan halted its organ donation program because staff and resources are overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.
As the cases continue to rise, politicians in these two provinces have little appetite for stricter measures.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says a lockdown would hurt people who have been vaccinated and the unvaccinated would likely refuse to comply with the rules.
He says his government will monitor the situation and bring in further measures if necessary but for now he will stay the course.
There has been no response from the Saskatchewan government.
But doctors say now is not the time to dither on the issue of lockdowns.
“This is a time for governments, businesses, and citizens to step up and do the right thing,” said the association. “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures – and that time is now.”
(Eagle News Service)