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Record-Breaking Number of Surgeries Performed in Saskatchewan in 2023-24

Released on May 7, 2024

Saskatchewan’s surgical teams achieved another record-breaking year for surgical volumes in 2023-24 surpassing the high volume recorded last year. More than 95,700 surgeries were performed between April 1, 2023, and March 31, 2024, the highest annual surgical volume ever recorded.

“Thank you Saskatchewan surgical teams, for your work every day ensuring patients are receiving the care they need,” Health Minister Everett Hindley said. “Our surgical teams are making significant strides in ensuring patients receive timely surgical procedures. Our government continues to make record investments in human resources to increase capacity in our surgical systems and address wait times.”

Almost 6,000 more surgeries were performed in 2023-24 than the previous record volume recorded in 2022-23.

Particular emphasis is being placed on hip and knee replacement procedures, which are among the highest-volume procedures in Saskatchewan. Annual volumes for hip and knee replacement procedures increased to nearly 7,100 in 2023-24 from nearly 6,300 the previous year. The volume of joint replacement procedures performed in this fiscal year (April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024) was 50 per cent higher than the pre-COVID annual volume, in 2019-20.

The wait list is also trending down with about 4,600 or 14 per cent fewer patients waiting for surgery compared to March 31, 2023. From March 31, 2023, to March 31, 2024, the number of people waiting more than 18 months decreased by 67 per cent.

The 2024-25 budget provides an additional investment of $2.28 million to increase surgical volumes and further reduce wait times.

“The overall commitment by all members of the surgical teams has significantly reduced surgical wait times and increased volumes,” Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) and University of Saskatchewan Provincial Head of Surgery Dr. Michael Kelly said. “Their dedication is what has made reaching this milestone possible. As a surgical program we want to continue to empower the people of Saskatchewan to be more engaged in their own unique surgical journey.”

The Ministry of Health and the SHA have developed a strong plan to continue the momentum gained in 2023-24 into 2024-25. Strategies to increase surgical capacity include developing focused improvements on orthopedics, investing in health human resources and expanding involvement of private sector partners in surgical service delivery. 

The SHA continues to make process efficiencies that directly contribute to the success of the provincial surgical program, including the recently launched centralized referral intake for hip and knee replacements.

"These initiatives are helping to reduce wait times overall and, in the case of hip and knee replacements, providing access to the next available surgeon more quickly, while providing patients more choice in making decisions that work for them alongside their surgical team," SHA Provincial Surgical Services Executive Director Cindy Graham said. "The SHA continues to focus on providing efficient, timely and universal access to surgical services to the people of Saskatchewan."

The Government of Saskatchewan continues to support all partner organizations in achieving targets for surgical services to meet the needs of Saskatchewan residents. Publicly funded, privately delivered surgical providers have historically performed approximately 15 per cent of the total number of surgeries completed in the province each year. Since 2020, this increased to almost 18 per cent as providers were able to increase their surgical volumes to assist with the COVID backlog.

To learn more about Saskatchewan's Surgical Performance and Wait Times, visit:



For more information, contact:

Saskatchewan Health
Phone: 306-787-4083

Media Relations
Saskatchewan Health Authority 
Phone: 1-833-766-4392

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