More surgeries at Boundary Trails

Health Minister Cameron Friesen announces a $5.3-million investment on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018, which ismeant to allow more hip and knee replacements, as well as additional cataract surgeries. JOYANNE PURSAGA/Winnipeg Sun/Postmedia Network

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An increase in surgeries at Boundary Trails Health Centre is key to a provincial plan announcing a planned reduction in wait times.
The province released their plan for increased funding for hip, knee and cataract procedures with a $5.3 million investment on Nov. 22.
“The announcement for this additional capacity is not just for Winnipeg,” Health Minister and Morden-Winkler MLA Cameron Friesen said. “There are a number of different facilities, hospitals, that will participate.
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, a nearly 25 per cent increase. The new funding will also finance at least 2,000 additional cataract surgeries next year for a 16 per cent increase.
Additional cataract 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 Boundary Trails Health Centre.
“Boundary Trails does about 400 procedures per year and this will add approximately 100 more, which would essentially mean a 25 per cent increase even for Southern Health,” Friesen said.
Funds are used to ensure there is adequate clinical surgery time, doctor remuneration, costs of the actual joint, and support staff and supplies.
“We have to know that we can reasonably expect to accommodate the additional volume and then we have to know that we’ve got the necessary clinical experts who are available,” Friesen said.
Jane Curtis, CEO of Southern Health commended the work of the Boundary Trails Health Centre team which she said has provided a solid foundation to build on.
“Today’s announcement represents yet another opportunity to partner together and build a sustainable health-care system that will meet the needs of residents, now and into the future.”
Dr. Jack McPherson, co-chair of the priority procedure wait times reduction committee of the Wait Times Reduction Task Force said they are seeing an increased demand for these procedures as the population gets older.
“We are very pleased the government of Manitoba adopted our recommendation, and believe it will significantly augment the progress we have made to date in completing more procedures and ultimately reducing the amount of time patient currently wait,” he said.
Friesen said people are asking why changes continue to be made.
“We’re making these changes because we have to, because we have an unsustainable health care system in its current form” he said. “It’s one of the most expensive such systems in all of Canada, but it doesn’t get some of the best results.”
As changes improve the system, Friesen said they expect to be able to reinvest the funds for priority procedures and reducing wait times.
“It is not a cost cutting exercise, this change in healthcare,” he said. “It’s about creating a stronger health care system to get a better provision of health care.”
Friesen said changes are happening including a reduction in emergency department wait times from two years ago, MRI wait times reduction, less nurse overtime, and shorter length of stays.
“While none of these indicate we are there yet, they’re all indications that we’re moving in the right direction,” he said.