Alberta to provide update on ongoing effort to address surgical backlog, wait times

CALGARY — As the province continues its attempt to reduce surgical wait times in the province, Health Minister Tyler Shandro will provide an update on the progress.

Shandro is scheduled to make an announcement Friday afternoon alongside Dr. Francois Belanger, Alberta Health Services’ chief medical officer and vice-president of quality, and Dr. Mohammed Nanji, president and CEO of Surgical Centres Inc.

A livestream of the announcement, scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m., will be available here.

A recent study by SecondStreet.org, a public policy thinktank, suggests 16,893 surgeries were postponed in Alberta between March and June of 2020, near the onset of the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic to the province.

According to AHS, the postponements resulted in a backlog of nearly 25,000 surgical procedures.

As of November 2020, Alberta Health Services said it had rebooked all surgeries that had been postponed between March 18 and May 4 and that surgical activity in the province had returned to approximately 88 per cent of pre-pandemic numbers.

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