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Manitobans to Receive Hip/Knee Surgeries in NWO

By Randy Thoms Aug 25, 2022 | 8:58 AM

Zdenko Zivkovic / CC

Hospitals in Fort Frances, Dryden and Kenora are central to a new health care deal signed by the Manitoba government.

The agreement with Thunder Bay-based Big Thunder Orthodepics will allow Manitobans needing hip or knee surgeries to have them performed in northwestern Ontario.

It will start with six patients as part of a pilot program to begin later this month.

That will ramp up to 20 to 30 patients per month, or about 300 procedures annually, at a later date.

“We are excited to be a part of this pilot project with Manitoba that will benefit patients from both sides of the border,” says Dr. Dave Puskas, an orthopedic surgeon at Big Thunder Orthopedic Associates. “We have created the capacity to accomplish Ontario wait times and provide assistance to our neighbouring province. This relationship acknowledges the movement of patients between the two provinces and softens the border so Canadians can receive care where and when they need it.”
Manitoba has also signed similar arrangements with Sanford Health in Fargo, North Dakota and Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

It is intended to ease the waitlist for surgeries at Manitoba hospitals.

The average wait times is around 35 weeks, but some hospitals report it could be up to a year or more.

“These three new agreements are an important interim measure to help people who have been waiting for care for too long, as we work to build long-term, sustainable improvements and increased capacity in our health-care system here at home,” states Manitoba Health Minister Audrey Gordon in a release. “The Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force has also created an opportunity for patients who are eligible for these procedures and willing to receive care out of province, to identify themselves and learn more about the process.”

Manitoba hospitals have performed more than 2,250 hip and knee surgeries in the first six months of the year.

The advocacy group Doctors Manitoba estimates that 3,500 people are still waiting for those procedures.



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