SASKATCHEWAN BREAKS NEW SURGICAL RECORD WITH HIGHEST-EVER VOLUMES PERFORMED

Saskatchewan’s surgical system achieved the highest volumes ever recorded in the first six months of the fiscal year from April 1 to September 30.

As of September 30, 47,748 procedures have been performed, which is an increase of 4,487 procedures or 10.4 per cent over September 2022.

“I want to thank Saskatchewan’s surgeons and their teams for performing the highest-ever number of patients receiving surgeries,” Health Minister Everett Hindley said. “We are really pleased with this successful path forward due to their hard-work and efforts to improve quality of life for thousands of patients. Our government will continue to provide needed supports so the health system can maximize capacity and keep wait times trending downward.”

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is responsible for delivering surgical services to meet the needs of Saskatchewan people.

“I’d like to thank the many dedicated health care providers and physicians who continue to help us improve access to surgical care,” Provincial Department Head of Surgery Dr. Mike Kelly said. “As we build on this achievement, we aim to redesign the way surgical care is delivered in this province ensuring high quality surgical care is accessible to the people of Saskatchewan.”   

Additional investment into publicly funded and privately delivered surgical services has allowed a further expansion of provincial capacity. Approximately 19 per cent of all surgeries performed since 2020 have taken place in private surgical centres helping to reduce COVID-19 pandemic related backlogs and increase overall volumes.

Further expansion of resources will be possible through the work of the Government of Saskatchewan’s Health Human Resources (HHR) Action Plan. Ensuring key staffing complements on surgical teams by improving recruitment and retention of nurses and many associated professionals will allow the SHA to reach aggressive surgical targets.

“Our goal is to continue to work on system improvements along with recruitment as we transform how we’re delivering services province-wide to better provide safe, timely and appropriate surgical care to patients,” Provincial Surgical Services Executive Director Cindy Graham said. “Carrying on the momentum achieved in 2023, we are focused on a patient-centred care approach to build a more sustainable surgical program.”

Aggressive surgical targets are in place to surpass last year’s highest surgical volume of over 90,000, ensure 90 per cent of surgeries are performed within 10 months and that no patients are on the waitlist longer than 18 months. In 2023-24, the annual investment for the surgical program is nearly $670 million, that is $144 million, or 27 per cent, more than 2007. The Government of Saskatchewan continues to support all partner organizations in the historic delivery of services for Saskatchewan residents.