News Release - February 1, 2011
MORE SURGERIES MEANS SHORTER WAITS FOR PATIENTS IN NORTHEAST SASKATCHEWAN
Kelsey Trail to Expand Orthopedic and Dental Surgeries in Nipawin and Melfort
As part of the provincial government's commitment to reducing surgical wait times, patients in northeast Saskatchewan now have improved access to orthopedic and dental surgical services.
The province is providing $236,000 in additional funding to Kelsey Trail Health Region (KTHR) to expand services in Melfort Hospital and Nipawin Hospital. The funding will be used for 2010-11 operating and equipment costs, and is expected to result in an additional 30 dental surgeries and 70 orthopedic surgeries before the end of March. It includes $44,000 for 60 ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) procedures, which are used primarily to diagnose and treat conditions of the bile ducts.
On an annual basis in the future, the investment will allow the region to complete an additional 130 dental surgeries in Nipawin, and 260 orthopedic surgeries in Melfort and Nipawin combined.
"We know that receiving health services close to home is very important to patients, and this funding supports that patient-first approach," Health Minister Don McMorris said. "Kelsey Trail Health Region is improving access to high-quality care for its residents, and at the same time relieving pressure on other regions that provide these services."
The enhancement of orthopedic services was arranged through a partnership with Prince Albert Parkland Health Region. Four surgeons from Prince Albert will visit KTHR once a week on a three-week cycle. Clinic appointments will be scheduled to follow surgical bookings on each visiting day.
"The expansion of orthopedic surgical services to include Nipawin Hospital would not have been possible without the co-operation of the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region or the support of the Ministry of Health," KTHR CEO Glen Kozak said. " The support of the ministry was also integral in the region's ability to increase capacity for dental surgery and ERCP. These services will be a significant benefit to both the residents of KTHR as well as neighbouring regions with orthopedic and dental surgery wait lists."
The funding will cover costs associated with purchasing additional equipment and staffing resources, as well as increasing the number of surgeries provided by the region.
The increase 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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