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Report finds long waits for N.B. hip, knee surgeries

By Allan Dearing Jul 6, 2023 | 5:31 AM

The New Brunswick Health Council (NBHC) has looked at how long residents are waiting for surgery in the province.

A new report, Access to Surgery in New Brunswick, finds most patients have a wait time which is longer than the national benchmark of six months or 182 days.

NBHC CEO Stephane Robichaud says surgeries did increase year-over-year with 415 hip surgeries completed from January to March 2023 which is an increase from the 180 hip surgeries completed in January to March 2022.

Nevertheless, Robichaud says many patients are still waiting longer than six months.

“As we follow the progress of the work, there was previously quite a few long waiters and that is a number of people were waiting more than a year.”

Based on data from January to March 2023, 34 percent of hip replacement surgeries and 26 percent of knee replacement surgeries were completed within six months.

The report also notes the waiting period for the same surgery can vary from one region to another, depending on where it is scheduled to be performed.

After delays caused by the pandemic, hip and knee surgeries are now being prioritized and have increased since April 2022.

“An important aspect for us is to ensure that other types of surgeries are not neglected as there’s an attempt to reduce wait times for hip and knees,” notes Robichaud.

While recognizing that tremendous efforts have been made recently to increase the number of surgeries, Robichaud says many patients still have long wait times.

“As the province moves towards meeting the identified target to eliminate the number of hip and knee surgeries that have been waiting longer than a year by March 2024, we hope to see improvements in meeting the nationally recommended benchmark of six months,” adds Robichaud.


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