Saskatchewan patients are receiving their surgeries sooner. Through the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative, teams across the province are working to achieve the ambitious goal of offering all patients surgery within three months of the decision to proceed with an operation.
Updated statistics show that just over 80 per cent of patients receiving a surgery between November 1, 2013 and January 31, 2014, waited less than three months. Almost 93 per cent of patients received their surgery within six months. Compared to when the Surgical Initiative began in March 2010, there are 10,755 fewer patients waiting more than three months for surgery.
“We have seen tremendous improvement,” Health Minister Dustin Duncan said. “Our health system has been steadily driving down wait times so surgical patients can get the care they need sooner.”
Most health regions are close to the goal of offering surgeries within three months by April 2014. However, increased demand in Saskatoon and Regina Qu’Appelle health regions has slowed their progress. Saskatoon expects to meet the target by late 2014 and Regina Qu’Appelle by March 2015. So far this fiscal year (April 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014), Saskatoon Health Region has seen demand for about 1,100 more surgeries than it had projected.
As part of the 2014-15 budget, government announced that $60.5 million will be invested to achieve and sustain the three-month wait time target and continue to improve sooner, safer, smarter surgical care in the province.
Information about the Surgical Initiative is available at www.sasksurgery.ca. The website also features the Specialist Directory, which empowers patients and their primary care providers to compare options for surgical care.