Four in 10 child patients face unsafe spinal surgery wait times in Canada: report – CTV

Sept. 25, 2023

Four out of ten child patients in Canada are facing unsafe spinal surgery wait times, according to a new report.

Published Monday, the report also estimates that delaying access to pediatric spinal surgeries costs the Canadian health-care system at least $44.6 million.

“Wait times in Canada for spinal surgery that children need far exceed the recommended safe clinical time frame in several provinces,” states the report from the Conference Board of Canada, a not-for-profit think tank and research organization. “Beyond pain and emotional distress, wait times that lead to delayed surgeries result in increased costs due to disease progression, complications, more complex procedures, extended hospitalization, readmissions, and rehabilitation journeys.”

The report focuses on the spinal condition scoliosis to highlight the broader issue of prolonged pediatric surgery wait times following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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