New Surgeon Aims to Reduce Wait Times in Alberta

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“Our team has worked hard to increase surgeries and reduce wait times for surgeries in Alberta,” Chies said. “By working with vendors such as Canadian Surgery Solutions, we are able to achieve this goal. We would like to thank our partners and all of his AHS teams for working with us to make this happen.”

According to the government, about 6,000 people are waiting for orthopedic surgery in Calgary alone, with more than half waiting longer than clinically appropriate timeframes for knee and hip replacement surgery.

Across Alberta, there are approximately 21,200 people on the waiting list for orthopedic surgery.

Health Secretary Jason Copping said the new contract with CSS will see about a 21% increase in orthopedic surgeries performed in the Calgary area compared to 2021-2022.

“Albertans, many of whom are in pain, have been waiting too long for life-changing knee and hip surgeries in Calgary,” says Copping. We will accelerate adding more surgeries in both state hospitals and chartered surgical facilities, reducing wait times to those recommended by medical professionals.”

CSS recently began accepting patients for nighttime orthopedic surgery at one of its Calgary facilities. A second facility, the Rockyview Surgical Center, is currently undergoing renovations and is expected to reopen in early 2023.

The Alberta government partners with more chartered surgical facilities across the province that specialize in a variety of disciplines.

Last spring, Holy Cross Surgical Services and Vision Group Canada in Calgary and Edmonton began performing cataract surgery.

AHS also solicited suggestions from operators performing surgeries in both the Southern and Central Health Zones last fall.

Alberta’s NDP Health Commentator David Shepherd issued the following statement:

“UCP’s plans to expand the privatization of surgery will cause lasting harm to Alberta’s public healthcare system and ultimately lead to Alberta’s out-of-pocket costs.

“Expanding for-profit care takes staff and resources away from a public system that, thanks to Daniel Smith and the UCP, is already experiencing severe staffing shortages.

“Private companies exist to make a profit, and all medical costs that go into corporate profit margins are drawn from the public system.

“UCP must be open about the possibility that patients will be sold or pressured to pay for various services and products out of their own pocket.

“UCP has not offered a single reason why capacity cannot be increased within the public system. Health Minister Jason Copping spoke today on how dedicated surgical facilities can increase the efficiency of operations. However, it is still possible to do so within the public system.

Chris Gallaway, executive director of Friends of Medicare, said: “The minister has repeatedly said these are ‘publicly funded’ surgeries, but our public medical costs are not being used for frontline care, but to subsidize private interests. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s being used.”

“Today’s announcement to increase the use of for-profit surgical centers in Calgary only exacerbates the challenges for medical staff,” said Gallaway. “Expanding private surgery centers doesn’t add more surgeons and nurses.

(using files from rdnewsNOW)


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