The Manitoba government is investing more than $5.3 million to significantly increase the number of hip replacements, knee replacements and cataract surgeries in Manitoba in 2019, said Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen.
“Manitoba patients deserve better health care sooner and that includes reducing the time they wait for priority procedures,” said Friesen.
More than 4,100 hip and knee replacements and 12,900 cataract surgeries were performed in Manitoba in 2017-18.
The new investment will ensure at least 1,000 more hip and knee replacement surgeries are performed in 2019, which represents a nearly 25 per cent increase, the minister noted.
The new investment will also cover at least 2,000 more cataract surgeries next year, a 16 per cent increase, he added. These surgeries will take place at Misericordia Health Centre while additional hip and knee surgeries will be performed at Concordia Hospital, Grace Hospital, Health Science Centre Winnipeg and the Boundary Trails Health Centre (Winkler).
“The reality is that we are seeing an increased and sustained demand for these procedures as our population ages,” said Dr. Jack McPherson, co-chair of the priority procedure committee of the Wait Times Reduction Task Force.
Health care system changes implemented since 2016 include offering cataract surgeries using freezing rather than sedation to patients who meet the clinical criteria, offering same-day hip surgery to reduce long hospital stays, and implementing a hip and knee clinic to reduce the number of people referred for surgery.
“The health system transformation process allows the opportunity to look broadly at what services are offered and to create a plan focusing on increasing capacity and improving outcomes for all Manitobans,” said Friesen.