Province Announces Plan to Address Surgical Backlogs

The provincial government has announced a plan to help tackle surgical backlogs for hip and knee replacement surgeries.

Prime Minister Andrew Furey made the announcement at the Confederation Building on Thursday.

Starting this fall, several hip and knee replacements will be performed as outpatient procedures. That means patients will be mobilized soon after surgery and go home the same day.

The government says same-day joint replacements will help minimize waiting times and improve access, as a barrier to care in some cases has been a lack of available beds for inpatient care.

Plus, it comes with a host of benefits including less risk of blood clots, less invasive surgery, shorter hospital stays, lower risk of infection, and more.

Eastern Health CEO David Diamond says the new approach will require four new positions, including two registered nurses, a physical therapist and an administrative support person.

He says that they hope to have everything in place by the fall. He states that they will start with two inpatient procedures a day Monday through Friday, eventually increasing to four procedures a day. In total, that equates to 200 procedures a year. His goal is for 20 percent of all procedures to be performed as outpatients.

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Prime Minister Andrew Furey is scheduled to hold a lunchtime news conference to announce what they are calling a “solution to address surgery delays.”

Furey will be joined by Health Minister John Haggie, Eastern Health CEO David Diamond and orthopedic surgeon Keegan Au.

Availability will take place in the Confederation building at 12:30 pm

VOCM News will be there.

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