Province Breaks Surgical Record

Saskatchewan’s surgical system has achieved a remarkable milestone, reporting the highest volumes ever recorded in the first half of the fiscal year, from April 1 to September 30. A total of 47,748 procedures were performed during this period, showcasing a substantial 10.4% increase over the same timeframe in 2022. Health Minister Everett Hindley expressed his gratitude to the province’s surgeons and their teams for their dedication, acknowledging their pivotal role in achieving this historic feat.

“We are really pleased with this successful path forward due to their hard work and efforts to improve the quality of life for thousands of patients,” Minister Hindley stated. He reiterated the government’s commitment to providing necessary support to maximize the health system’s capacity and ensure a downward trend in wait times.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is at the forefront of delivering surgical services to meet the evolving needs of the province. Provincial Department Head of Surgery, Dr. Mike Kelly, extended his thanks to the many healthcare providers and physicians contributing to the improvement of surgical care accessibility.

The achievement comes as a result of additional investments in both publicly funded and privately delivered surgical services. Approximately 19% of surgeries since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic have been conducted in private surgical centers, expanding the overall provincial capacity.

The Government of Saskatchewan’s Health Human Resources (HHR) Action Plan plays a vital role in further expanding resources. By focusing on recruitment and retention strategies for nurses and associated professionals, the plan aims to ensure key staffing complements on surgical teams, allowing the SHA to meet aggressive surgical targets.

Cindy Graham, Provincial Surgical Services Executive Director, emphasized the commitment to system improvements and recruitment efforts to transform the delivery of services province-wide. The goal is to build a sustainable surgical program with a patient-centered care approach, continuing the momentum achieved in 2023.

The province has set ambitious surgical targets for the coming year, aiming to surpass last year’s highest surgical volume of over 90,000. The objective is to ensure that 90% of surgeries are performed within 10 months, with no patients on the waitlist longer than 18 months. The annual investment for the surgical program in 2023-24 is nearly $670 million, representing a $144 million or 27% increase since 2007. The Government of Saskatchewan remains committed to supporting partner organizations in delivering historic services for the residents of the province.

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