Doctors worry Canadians skipping appointments, creating backlog amid COVID-19

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Doctors are worried many Canadians are missing necessary medical appointments amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, which could be creating a large backlog.

Dr. Ritika Goel, a family physician in Toronto, said she expects to see the number of people accessing medical care increase as the country reopens.

I think there’s a lot of medical issues that people have decided to put off temporarily just to see what happens with the pandemic,” she said. “And because actual appointments and procedures have been put on hold, I think we’re we’re absolutely going to see a backlog of services to be provided and patients coming in.

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Dr. Michelle Cohen, a family physician and assistant professor in the department of family medicine at Queen’s University, echoed Goel’s remarks, saying she has seen a “big drop” in the number of appointments amid the pandemic — especially during the first few weeks of the lockdown.

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She too said she is “quite concerned” about the potential backlog this has created.

I think we’re going to be dealing with backlog and backlog-related issues for a long time,” she said.  

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