Yukon Weekly

Doctor Youssef Al-Begamy is airlifted to Ontario as he dies of COVID-19

Youssef Al-Begamy, a charismatic and popular physician in Regina, has died in a Toronto hospital. He was one of many Saskatchewan COVID-19 patients transferred to Ontario last month as Saskatchewan hospitals surged far beyond their intensive care unit capacity. Two other patients in this cohort also died in a few days, however, their identities aren’t given. Al-Begamy died on Sunday and his funeral service took place tomorrow in Moose Jaw, where he also worked, according to his friend and fellow physician Fauzi Ramadan.CBC reported Al-Begamy had surgery on his shoulder before he fell unwell with COVID-19, however, it is not known how or where he was infected. Ramadan stated he’s coordinating plans to deliver Al-Begamy’s body to Saudi Arabia, where he came from, by the wishes of his mother. He told The Canadian Press it was tough to tell the information of Al-Begamy’s death to his sisters and mother. He had no immediate family in Canada. “He is loved by all of his colleagues.

He is someone that had no problem with anybody, and everybody says Youssef was an awesome person, and that was his character,” Ramadan stated. “His spirit was quite joyful and pleasant, and he was a happy person.” He stated he spent all day Monday fielding phone calls from people in British Columbia and throughout Saskatchewan who worked with Al-Begamy. Saskatchewan continues to struggle in the pandemic’s fourth wave with almost 200 in the clinic and more than 50 in intensive care.

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Ontario hospitals are still caring for 18 of the transferred Saskatchewan patients. When transfers started in mid-October, Saskatchewan Health Authority CEO Scott Livingstone stated the province was seeing “extraordinary prices of hospitalizations and ICU admissions. This is pushing the system to a place where we aren’t providing care to non-COVID patients across this province as we must be.” This failure of the province’s health system led Premier Scott Moe to apologize. “I am sorry that we have experienced those slowdowns here in the province, and the government will do everything we can to ensure those services are available to Saskatchewan people as soon as we are able,” he stated last month.

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