Chapter 1: The impact of COVID-19

The healthcare system

What the palliative care expert says
Dr. Amit Arya, palliative care physician, talks about the importance of self care.(3:22)Video transcript

“We’re feeling a number of different griefs. We feel the world has changed, and it has. We know this is temporary, but it doesn’t feel that way, and we realize things will be different.” – David Kessler, author of Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief 

The pandemic has intensified existing challenges in healthcare. To explore some of these challenges, click on the boxes below. 


Time constraints

It is common to feel that you don't have the time or resources to deliver the kind of care you want to provide. Many are juggling increased workload and additional family responsibilities. During COVID-19, these feelings will be heightened. Many people working in healthcare have said that there is not enough time to attend to the stresses, or the grief they are feeling. 

Medical resources

In many areas there are concerns regarding insufficient supplies including PPE, ventilators, and medications. 

Staffing resources

Staffing shortages may contribute to difficulties in providing safe and effective care. This can add to your workload and require overtime. You may be feeling an additional burden when co-workers are absent from work for various reasons including:

  • illness
  • forced isolation
  • risk of exposure for themselves and family members
  • childcare
  • the need to be tested for COVID-19 and receive results   
Healthcare services

The procedures vary within each province and territory but include things such as:

  • how we dress for work - PPEs, masks, shields
  • required distancing policies
  • how care is administered including the limited services being provided for non-emergency cases
  • operational procedures and restrictions for existing patients and residents in long term care facilities
  • isolation requirements for patients admitted to the hospital who have COVID-19 and precautionary isolation
  • strict quarantine requirements for the general public
Click on each item on the left