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Renseignements en Français

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Special Initiatives - Out-of-Province Surgery

The Ministry of Health is offering an out-of-province initiative to cover the cost of surgery at a private surgical centre in Calgary for up to 250 patients waiting for hip or knee replacement surgery. The cost of travel and accommodation while accessing this treatment is not covered. The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) will co-ordinate this initiative by contacting eligible patients currently on the waitlist who have waited longer than 12 months for their joint replacement. This page provides more information about the program and eligibility criteria.

The eligible age for participants in this program has increased to 75 years of age or under. Surgery patients who have been on the wait list for 12 months or more will receive a phone call from the Saskatchewan Health Authority to undergo thorough screening and confirm interest in the program. Because joint replacement surgery will be performed at a private surgical centre (not a full-service public hospital) the hip and knee surgical initiative must exclude people with certain risk factors for medical complication during surgery, such as:

  • Age over 75 years
  • Body mass index greater than 38 (a handy BMI calculator is available at Diabetes Canada)
  • ICU admissions in the past year
  • Home oxygen use
  • Stroke or mini stroke in the past year
  • Diagnosis of dementia
  • Untreated asthma, COPD or chronic bronchitis
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Untreated heart disease, or heart attack in the past 6 months
  • Congestive heart disease
  • Untreated hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Kidney disease / dialysis
  • Blood vessel disease such as aneurysm
  • Bleeding disorders, hemophilia
  • Liver disease
  • Immunosuppressive disorders (genetic or from secondary causes)
  • Muscular disease (muscular dystrophy, myotonic dystrophy)

People with these risk factors are more appropriately cared for in the hospital setting following surgery. People who are waiting for the replacement of both hips, or both knees, or who have already had one joint replaced, are also recommended to stay in Saskatchewan for their surgery. This helps to maintain consistency in equipment and procedures for both limbs.

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