Hopes to have additional 1,700 surgeries done by end of March 2020
The Saskatchewan government is investing $10 million with the hopes of having an addition 1,700 surgeries performed within the next five months.
This is meant to fight the rising wait times caused by the growing number of patients needing surgeries, according to the Ministry of Health.
The funding is aimed at people needing surgeries for cataracts, gynecological surgeries, dental surgeries and ear-nose-throat (ENT) procedures.
“We are committed to improving wait times, and this investment is a positive step in that direction,” says Health Minister Jim Reiter.
The development was welcomed by Ivar Mendez, SHA provincial head of surgery and professor at the Fred H. Wigmore - College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, adding that “as surgeons, we feel it is crucial to provide timely surgical care to the people of Saskatchewan.”
To meet the March 2020 target, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) will increase surgical hours in hospitals. They will also increase contracted volumes with third-party facilities, says the government.
The majority of surgeries will be held in Regina and Saskatoon, where some of the longest wait times exist. Surgeries will also be held in Lloydminster, Prince Albert and Moose Jaw.
The SHA will also perform 30 more transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) cardiac procedures for patients who require heart valve replacements but are not candidates for open-heart surgery. TAVI procedures will be available in both Saskatoon and Regina to minimize the need for patients to travel.
“As surgeons, we feel it is crucial to provide timely surgical care to the people of Saskatchewan,” says Mendez. “The first phase of the surgical initiative started in 2010 and propelled our province to the forefront of surgical care in Canada, significantly diminishing surgical wait times. It is our hope that these additional resources will reignite this pathway and that the average citizen of the province could expect timely access to surgery.”