ontario news watch

Surgery wait list in Nova Scotia shrinking as procedures ramp up: Health Department

HALIFAX — The Nova Scotia government says the Health Department’s wait list for surgeries is shrinking.

The department has issued a statement saying surgical teams across the province completed thousands more operations and procedures last year than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement says there were 1,873 more surgeries completed in the 2022-23 fiscal year than in 2019-20, and there were 4,863 more endoscopy and cystoscopy procedures completed last year than in 2019-20.

As a result, the surgical wait list has been reduced by more than four-thousand people in the last year, though the department did not say how many people remain on the list.

Health Minister Michelle Thompson says the shrinking wait list can be attributed to improved scheduling of operating rooms, new acute-care beds and an expanded partnership with the Halifax Vision Centre for cataract surgeries.

As well, Thompson says the number of outpatient hip and knee replacement surgeries increased to 1,193 in 2022-23, up from 85 in 2019-20.

Those patients returned home to recover rather than being admitted to hospital, leaving beds available for others, the department said.

“Together, we are gaining ground and getting more Nova Scotians the surgeries and procedures they’ve been waiting for,” Thompson said.  “We know there is more work to do to shorten surgical wait lists, but we are ready and willing to make the changes and investments needed to keep this momentum going.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 19, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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