Mississauga hospitals need more doctors as COVID-19 admissions mount
Mississauga Hospital and Credit Valley Hospital are reportedly trying to hire more doctors for “pandemic support”, a sign of just how stretched Peel Region’s frontline healthcare currently is.
The job posting was reported late last week, amid increased hospital admission levels in Peel and across Ontario. It represented the mix of good and bad news surrounding the pandemic. Just a few days earlier, on December 21, Trillium Health Partners, which runs both Mississauga hospitals, announced the first COVID-19 vaccination in Peel.
That piece of positive news came as daily infection rates and hospital admissions continued to worry local public health officials.
Mississauga's Credit Valley Hospital is one of the facilities hiring more doctors to cope with the pandemic
According to the latest weekly epidemiological report put out by the Region of Peel, between December 8 and 14, acute bed occupancy was at 94 percent, well above the 90 percent threshold established to help ensure local hospitals are able to admit patients in need of care. Intensive care capacity sat at 89 percent, dangerously close to the threshold and teetering on the point where patients most in need of emergency treatments would have to be sent elsewhere.
Hospitals in Peel have already had to transfer some patients to other facilities due to the need for beds required to treat those with severe COVID-19 symptoms.
Reported daily case numbers in Peel have dipped over the last couple days but it’s unclear if this might be due to a lag in reporting over the holidays.
Health Minister Christine Elliott reported 331 new cases in Peel Sunday, 344 on Saturday, 502 on Friday and 448 on Thursday.
The region has been in lockdown since Monday, November 23, and it’s possible the effects of the restrictive measures might finally be yielding some positive results, as the daily case counts are trending downward, compared to the alarming rates seen between mid-November and mid-December, when Peel routinely saw more than 500 cases. The daily high was on December 14 when Peel had 654 new infections.
Trillium said the new doctors it’s looking to hire are general internists to support the “temporary pandemic needs across our sites.”
The first vaccine administered in Peel was given by nurse Nasha Zaheer, who has worked in Trillium’s first dedicated COVID-19 unit throughout the pandemic.
“This past year has been trying for all of us and no one has felt it more deeply than those of us on the frontlines, or families who have lost a loved one to this virus,” Zaheer said in a press release.
“The arrival of this vaccine gives our community as a whole renewed hope and optimism for a healthier, happier new year.”
The first vaccine was given to another nurse, Bella Rego, who works at Camilla Care Community, a Mississauga long-term care home that has been devastated by COVID-19.
“I am honoured to be the first of many in our community to receive this vaccine,” Rego said. “This milestone moment marks a welcome and positive turning point for long-term care and I am proud to have rolled up my sleeve not only for my health, but also for our residents, family and friends.”
As the second wave continues to challenge Peel’s hospitals, while they try to maintain enough capacity to care for those patients walking through emergency department doors who need immediate attention as the virus continues to spread, the arrival of the first vaccine is clearly a game changer. But its impact will not be widely felt for months.
“This vaccine not only represents a positive shift in the pandemic’s course, but what can be achieved when partners across all health systems, levels of government and community come together.” said Michelle DiEmanuele, Trillium’s President & CEO.
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