Niagara Health trying to deal with over 600 staff vacancies


Published July 25, 2022 at 10:15 am

Niagara hospitals are incredibly short-staffed at the moment. In fact, there have 608 staffer vacancies.

Niagara Health, which runs the hospitals in the region, said while they are this short-handed, patients will be seeing “longer wait times and delays in service.”

We are having difficulties with staffing levels. Currently we are aggressively recruiting to fill 608 job vacancies across Niagara Health,” said the health unit.

“However, there is a limited availability of trained healthcare workers across Ontario and Canada. These shortages are exacerbated by growing numbers of staff and physicians in self-isolation or sick due to COVID.”

It has affected the patients waiting to be shifted out to long-care facilities as they noted they have more than 100 patients staying in their hospitals looking to move to home and community care, and long-term care.

“This creates challenges with the timely transfer of patients from our Emergency Departments to other areas of the hospital and for discharging patients. Like hospitals, community agencies are also facing serious health human resource pressures, which create additional delays across the system.”

They noted the staff they do have in the hospital are struggling to keep up with the increased workload.

“We are seeing the pressures most immediately in our Emergency Departments, with our staff and physicians caring for more people with more complex care needs than ever before,” Nagara Health said.

“We recognize that waiting can be difficult and stressful for patients and families, and we are asking for understanding and patience.”

They noted their staff and physicians are doing absolutely everything they can but “they are dealing with stress and burnout after working at an exhausting pace for nearly two and a half years throughout the pandemic. The demands on them continue to be high and they need time to recover.”

They are asking that the public use the Emergency Departments for emergencies only. “Be prepared for long waits if your visit is not urgent.” For all other health concerns:

  • Contact your family doctor or call Health Connect Ontario to chat with a registered nurse 24/7 via phone or web chat.
  • Make a virtual appointment for urgent care to speak with a Niagara Health clinician Monday to Friday from
    9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by visiting
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