About 89 per cent of patients waiting for surgery in Saskatchewan are receiving it within six months, wait times statistics show. The health system's goal for 2012-13 is to provide all patients an offer of surgery within six months.
"We are making progress. We all look forward to the day when long surgical wait times are a distant memory," Health Minister Dustin Duncan said. "I want to thank the health professionals, operating room teams, surgeons, the Ministry of Health, the health regions and everyone else involved in improving surgical care in Saskatchewan."
"There were 3,995 people waiting more than 12 months for surgery when the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative was announced in April 2010. That number was down to 913 by May 2012," Duncan said. The number of cases with waits longer than six months dropped 55 per cent from 9,873 in April 2010 to 4,451 in May 2012, he added.
Since November 2007, the number of patients waiting more than a year for surgery has dropped 82 per cent. During that same time, the number waiting more than six months has dropped 58 per cent.
Underscoring the urgency of meeting this year's six-month-wait target, Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region recently announced a Revised 2012-13 Surgical Initiative Plan, which will increase the number of surgeries performed in the health region from 22,700 in 2011-12 to 27,000 this fiscal year.
Beginning this fall, surgical wait times information will get more precise, indicating how many people had surgery offered to them within a particular timeframe.
The overall goal of the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative is to improve surgical patients' experiences and by March 31, 2014 to provide all patients with the option of having elective surgery within three months. A small percentage of patients are offered surgery but choose to reschedule until later.
More information about the Surgical Initiative can be found at health.gov.sk.ca/surgical-initiative. Wait time data and other information for patients is available at sasksurgery.ca.