Good news for those waiting for a cataracts surgery or knee and hip replacements. The Provincial Government announced its plans to inject $5.3 million of funding into those surgical procedures.
Doctor Denis Fortier's the Vice President of Medical Service with Southern Health Santé Sud and explains waits times are slowly going down. He outlines that six months ago, the average wait time for these two operations was 18 to 27 months. Today, he reports the wait times have decreased to anywhere between 11 and 24 months.
Fortier notes the wait times are decreasing because orthopedic surgeons are being taken off the central referral system. A system which lines up patients with doctors that are available, while increasing the wait time for patients on a specific doctors list. Orthopedic surgeons will remain off the central referral system until the wait times are back to the norm.
In May of this year, 147 hip replacements were scheduled, and now, only 117 are to date. For knees, the numbers of surgeries needed decreased from 295 to 236. Fortier stresses, at this rate, they are hopeful they will see wait times back to normal by sometime in 2019.