More surgeries being scheduled, but not enough to clear pandemic backlog, nationwide data suggests – CBC

Canadians kept facing longer waits for knee, hip, cancer surgeries during COVID: report

Mar 23, 2023

Canadians continued to face longer wait times for joint replacements and an array of cancer surgeries as the COVID-19 pandemic progressed, a new report shows, putting further pressure on hospitals and provincial governments to tackle the backlogs — all while the country grapples with a healthcare staffing crisis and an aging population.

Released on Thursday, fresh estimates from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides data on Canada’s health-care system, suggest major dips in surgeries in the first two years of the pandemic continued to have a ripple effect by 2022.

“The most recent data shows that while the monthly number of scheduled surgeries is nearing pre-pandemic levels, this is insufficient to clear the backlog and improve wait times,” reads the CIHI report.

There were close to 36,000, or 20 per cent, fewer knee replacements performed nationwide between April 2020 and September 2022, compared to pre-pandemic levels. Hip replacements weren’t far behind, with 12,000, or 11 per cent, fewer procedures performed during the same period.

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