Physician in a white coat with stethoscope in hand. Patients in the background out of focus.


Health Human Resource Pressures Continue

June 28, 2022

For Immediate Release


Over the past four years, more than 4,400 staff have retired from the health care field with the number of unfilled positions in 2021 increasing 91% from the previous year. As 1 in 5 staff are over the age of 50, turnover in the health care field is expected to remain high. In a recent Ontario Hospital Association survey, burnout and stress from caring for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic were the main reasons cited by staff currently leaving their roles.

Hospitals across the South West continue to experience human resources shortages, including physicians, and all hospitals are working closely together to minimize potential service impacts and manage wait times. Despite the incredible efforts of all staff and physicians, and after a very challenging two years, it is becoming increasingly difficult to staff all programs and services.

Working with Ontario Health West, all hospitals in the South West region have prepared a coordinated summer planning overview that predicts staff availability across programs such as Emergency, Surgery, Labour and Delivery and Laboratory. The goal of the overview is to identify where there are concerns regarding consistent service provision and to ensure that necessary contingency and communication plans are in place.

“HHR is an ongoing issue which has been exacerbated by the pandemic and put pressure on many health services, not just hospitals,” stated Jimmy Trieu, President & CEO. “Closures of services have become more common and it’s going to be a challenging summer due to staffing pressures. Our commitment is to make sure that all health care partners and communities are aware of any potential closures. This includes working with our partners to ensure continued access to services.”

Hospitals are very aware that all health care partners are facing the same staffing challenges. We all have a shared responsibility to look to broader system solutions to ensure our health care programs and services are provided in a manner that reflects the staffing realities we are collectively facing now and into the future.

In emergency situations, hospitals remind the public to call 9-1-1, as Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are a key part of our Emergency Response Team. These team members will start immediate care when dispatched and will transport patients to the best hospital location for continued care.

If your needs are non-urgent, please consider other health system supports, such as your primary care provider’s office or Health Connect Ontario (former Telehealth Ontario).

Media Contact:
Jimmy Trieu, AMGH & SHHA, President & CEO