Released on February 20, 2014
More patients than ever are receiving surgical care in our province. Under the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative, health regions are streamlining processes to reduce the waiting time for patients, while also managing increased demand.
“Almost four years ago, our government set the ambitious target of providing all elective surgeries within three months,” Health Minister Dustin Duncan said. “Since the introduction of this initiative, there has been a dramatic improvement in access to surgical care for the people of Saskatchewan.”
The four-year initiative wraps up in April 2014. Saskatoon Health Region will need until late 2014 to provide all surgeries within the three-month target. Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region will need until March 2015.
Updated statistics show that wait time reductions during December in most health regions were offset by slight increases in the number of patients still waiting more than three months for surgery in Saskatoon, Prince Albert Parkland and Sunrise Health Regions as of December 31, 2013.
To deal with a spike in demand, Saskatoon Health Region has expanded its operating room hours and is working with other health regions and a contracted third-party surgical centre to enable patients to receive their surgery sooner.
Provincially, there were 10,506 fewer patients waiting more than three months for surgery at the end of December than in March 2010 when the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative was launched. Of the patients receiving surgery during October, November and December, 80 per cent received it within three months of the decision to proceed with surgery.
Information about the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative is available at www.sasksurgery.ca. The website also features the Specialist Directory, which empowers patients and their primary care providers to compare options for surgical care.
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