The Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative and surgical teams across the province have continued their effort to improve outcomes for patients by providing surgeries sooner.
The latest provincial wait times numbers show that 79 per cent of patients are having their surgery within three months of their referral from a surgeon and 91 per cent within six months.
"I am very pleased to see our health system is steadily moving toward the ambitious target of offering surgeries to all patients within three months by April 2014," Health Minister Dustin Duncan said. "We still have a lot of work ahead but we are committed to shorter wait times and improved quality of life for patients."
The latest monthly data update indicates as of June 30, there were 6,030 patients waiting more than three months for surgery. This is a decrease of 61 per cent (or 9,315 fewer patients) compared to the start of the Initiative in April 2010 where more than 15,000 patients were waiting more than three months.
In the first quarter of the fiscal year (April 1 to June 30), the number of surgeries performed increased by seven per cent (1,530 surgeries) over the same period last year. Nine out of 10 health regions provided surgeries to over 90 per cent of their patients within six months, including the Saskatoon Health Region.
There were 18,120 patients waiting for surgery in the province on June 30, 2013, down from 26,743 in November 2007 and from 27,585 when the Surgical Initiative was launched in April 2010.
The province has committed $70.5 million to improve access to surgery in the 2013-14 fiscal year. About 89,000 surgeries will be performed in Saskatchewan this year, an increase of 7,000 from last year.
Information about the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative is available at sasksurgery.ca. The website also features the Specialist Directory, which empowers patients and their primary care providers to compare options for surgical care.