Estimated backlog of surgeries, diagnostic procedures tops 110,000, says Doctors Manitoba

An advocacy group representing 4,000 doctors in the province says more than 100,000 Manitobans are waiting for surgeries and diagnostic procedures due to the delay caused by COVID-19.

Doctors Manitoba released the figures and a report Thursday, outlining how much things have backlogged in the province’s health-care system since the pandemic began.

“We estimate the backlog is over 110,000 surgical and diagnostic procedures and growing,” reads the report.

Read more: Manitoba budget will include $50M to tackle pandemic-related surgery backlog, premier says

The numbers break down into 39,000 surgical procedures, 44,000 diagnostic imaging tests and 32,000 other procedures, including endoscopies, mammograms and allergy tests.

This means tens of thousands of Manitobans are dealing with pain and discomfort, and many of them are at risk of minor health problems becoming larger and more complex issues, the report says.

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The report includes three recommendations, including creating a Surgery and Diagnostic Recovery Task Force, a provincial commitment to fully address the backlog by a certain date and provide funding to do so, and giving monthly updates on the progress.

Surgeries caught up a little in February and March, said Doctors Manitoba, but the third wave once again forced hospitals into stricter lockdowns.

Read the full report:

The province earlier announced $50 million in the 2021 budget to help reduce wait times and surgeries delayed due to COVID-19.

Premier Brian Pallister acknowledged in March that thousands of surgeries have been postponed during the pandemic and the number continues to grow.

The money is to help with the backlog of hip, knee and cataract procedures.

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Pallister said the funding may not wipe out the entire backlog, but he hoped it will make a good dent.

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“It’s going to help to get better care sooner to Manitobans,” the premier said March 31.

“This is a strong start, but a more comprehensive and accountable plan is needed to reassure Manitobans about when and how the backlog will be fully addressed,” Doctors Manitoba said Thursday.

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