Manitoba wait times for cataract, knee surgeries among worst nationwide in first 18 months of pandemic: report – CBC

Manitoba cataract surgery volume rebounding, but still 2nd last in Canada in first 18 months of pandemic: CIHI

May 09, 2022

An analysis of how Canadian wait times for surgeries and diagnostic tests were impacted in the first year-and-a-half of the pandemic suggests Manitoba lagged behind nearly all provinces when it came to cataract and knee surgeries.

The latest report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information out late Monday night compares wait times among provinces in the first 18 months of the pandemic. That window doesn’t include data on how the Delta, Omicron and its subvariant, known as BA.2, coronavirus waves impacted wait times.

From April 2020 to September 2021, CIHI analysis suggests just over one third — 38 per cent — of Manitobans on the wait list for knee surgery received the procedure within the national benchmark time frame of six months.

Manitoba trailed all provinces on this front, save for Saskatchewan, and came up about 20 per cent short of the Canadian average. Pre-pandemic, about 70 per cent of patients nationwide got their knees replaced within the recommended time span.

“In our more recent data we see some some improvements, but we still see wait times lagging, in particular for Manitoba we see that knee replacement patients are still waiting quite a bit longer than pre-pandemic,” said Erin Pichora, manager of health system analytics at CIHI.

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