News Release - March 8, 2007
SURGICAL WAIT LIST CONTINUES DOWNWARD TREND
The number of patients waiting for surgery in Saskatchewan continues to drop. About 1,000 fewer people are on the wait list than nine months ago.
The Saskatchewan Surgical Care Network website, www.sasksurgery.ca, now includes complete surgical data for 2006. It indicates that since December 2005, the provincial surgical wait list has declined more than seven per cent.
“These numbers show that we are successfully chipping away at the surgical wait list, and while it does take time, we are on the right track,” Health Minister Len Taylor said. “This is part of our government's plan to improve public health care while reducing wait times, and ensuring that surgical patients receive the care they need in a fair and timely manner.”
The website shows that 84 per cent of surgeries were completed within six months and 93 per cent within one year. The data is based on a province-wide Surgical Patient Registry that tracks all patients waiting for surgery in hospital operating rooms and their levels of urgency.
Steady progress is being made clearing long waiters from the wait list. In the seven largest health regions, where 98 per cent of surgeries are performed, the number of patients waiting more than a year for surgery dropped by about 880 cases in the past nine months. The longest waits for non-emergency surgery in Saskatchewan continue to be in orthopaedics, plastic surgery, dental surgery and ophthalmology. Resources are being targeted at those areas.
Waits are shortest for patients requiring cardiovascular procedures or general surgery.
In addition to base operating funding provided to health regions for surgical services, Saskatchewan invested $8.9 million of targeted federal funding this year to make surgical system improvements and reduce the number of patients who wait longer.
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