Following Ontario Premier Doug Ford's announcement of the province's plan to loosen COVID-19 restrictions, from the end of January until March, several people still had outstanding questions around the continued delays in surgeries.
On Thursday, the Ontario government revealed that on Jan. 31, indoor public settings including restaurants and bars, gyms, retailers (including grocery stores and pharmacies), cinemas and shopping malls, can operate at 50 per cent capacity.
On Feb. 21, the province expects to completely remove capacity limits in these indoor settings.
This announcement was met with some criticism from Ontarians on social media, including health experts, with particular comments related to why there is a plan for businesses reopening but not resuming postponed surgeries in Ontario.
So let me get this straight: Ontario is already planning to lift restrictions on bars, restaurants, gyms and cinemas…but has no plan to lift restrictions on elders in LTC who are confined to their rooms or scheduled life-saving surgeries?
— Dr. Amit Arya (@AmitAryaMD) January 20, 2022
Nobody ever says:
"Yes, a few dozen people died of a communicable disease in our province today. But on the other hand, people need to be able to eat a cheeseburger indoors."
Know why? Because it's obscene.
— David Fisman (@DFisman) January 20, 2022
Honest question: It's great to hear we have a plan to resume business here in Ontario, but where's the plan to resume life-saving surgeries here in Ontario?
*Asking for the patients I care for who need their life-saving healthcare*
— Naheed Dosani (@NaheedD) January 20, 2022
Kieran Moore can accurately predict, months out, the very day
that restrictions get lifted.
But has zero idea when PCR testing will come back.
— Ryan Imgrund (@imgrund) January 21, 2022
On what date will we lift restrictions on scheduled surgeries?
— Michael Warner (@drmwarner) January 20, 2022
Healthcare system failure is not one event. It’s a progressive deterioration with ever increasing negative outcomes.
Cancelled surgeries, admitted patients in ER, slowed EMS pickup/offload, delayed ER assessments.
The system HAS failed already & situation continues to worsen.
— Brooks Fallis (@BrooksFallis) January 20, 2022
In a statement following the reopening announcement, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath stated that "we also desperately need non-emergency surgeries to resume."
"For people whose surgery has been cancelled more than once, and for parents, teachers and education workers it’s frustrating not knowing what data this decision is based on, and shocking that there is no plan to help them," the statement reads.
"Doug Ford says it’s the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s call. The Chief Medical Officer of Health says it’s Doug Ford’s call. Who the heck is calling the shots — and are any of their choices based on public health, or are they just based on politics? Ford should be transparent and release the data, and the advice, this decision was based on."