News Release - February 2, 2011
LONGEST WAIT TIMES BEING CUT IN NORTHWEST SASKATCHEWAN
More Surgeries Means Quicker Access for Dental Patients
As part of the provincial government's commitment to reducing surgical wait times, access to dental surgery is improving for residents of northwest Saskatchewan.
The province is providing $69,000 in funding to Prairie North Health Region (PNHR) for equipment and operating funding to increase the number of dental surgeries it provides. Additional funding for operating costs will be provided for 2011-12.
"Building surgical capacity in regional centres helps us put patients first, by shortening wait times and providing services closer to patients' homes," Health Minister Don McMorris said. "Prairie North Health Region identified a significant need in this area, and we are pleased that this project will address that need and ease pressure on other centres to provide these services."
The funding is expected to enable the region to complete an additional 60 surgeries before the end of March, and between 200 and 250 more surgeries annually in future years.
"Prairie North Health Region is pleased to participate in the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative to reduce surgical waitlists and improve patient access to the surgical services they require," Prairie North Health Region CEO David Fan said. "The longest surgical waitlist in PNHR is for dental surgery and the majority of the patients waiting are children. The additional funding support from the ministry will be used to help us meet the needs of these clients."
The province announced earlier this week that it was also providing funding for more dental surgeries in Kelsey Trail Health Region, along with other enhancements to surgical services in both Kelsey Trail and Prince Albert Parkland Health Region.
The increases in regional surgical capacity will support the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative, a multi-year, system-wide initiative to transform the surgical patient experience and reduce surgical wait times to no more than three months by 2014.
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