The World Forum - June 17th, 2024

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353,000 surgeries and consultations postponed because of lockdowns


At least 353,000 surgeries, procedures and consultations were postponed due to lockdowns in 2020.

According to a report by, in the first months of the pandemic hundreds of thousands medical appointments had to be postponed due to public health orders, including some potentially life-saving procedures.

“When COVID emerged, governments postponed hundreds of thousands of non-COVID surgeries, procedures and consultations with specialists,” said President Colin Craig. 

“Not only has that increased waiting lists, it has caused tremendous patient suffering, sometimes even resulting in death.” 

Data from nine provinces found that a total of 205,549 postponements occurred in the first months of the pandemic. Each province provided data for different periods of time.

Notably, Ontario claimed to have “no records” on postponements due to the pandemic. Estimates by the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggest 148,364 surgeries had been postponed in the province.