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Province working to reduce surgery wait-times

Last Updated Mar 5, 2021 at 6:47 pm MDT

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — As the COVID-19 vaccination campaign ramps up, the Alberta government wants to reduce the amount of time residents need to wait for surgeries.

Alberta Health Services said Friday it wants to provide more than 55,000 additional scheduled surgeries starting Apr. 1 and up to 90,000 publicly funded surgeries in private facilities.

“It will help manage the increase in surgical demand and enhance capacity in particularly high needs areas such as knee and hip surgeries in the long-term,” said the vice-president, Quality, and Chief Medical Officer of Alberta Health Services, Dr. Francois Belanger.

Efforts to contract procedures to more privately-run surgical facilities were put on hold due to COVID-19, but requests for proposals will go out this spring.

By the end of March, there is expected to be a backlog of over 30,000 surgeries in Alberta.

AHS said it expects that backlog to be eliminated no later than the end of 2021.

This is on top of the pre-pandemic volume of 290,000 surgeries.