Surgery and diagnostic backlog may have peaked: Doctors Manitoba

Doctors Manitoba says new numbers show the massive surgical and diagnostic backlog in the province may have peaked.

The latest estimate is at 166,903 cases, which is a drop of 2,295 from last month’s total. It is the first time in more than a year that the pandemic backlog has decreased.

The decreases are due to additional volumes in ultrasound, mammography, and endoscopy.

The numbers show a backlog of 55,728 surgeries, 44,094 diagnostic imaging procedures and 67,081 other diagnostic testing procedures.

The organization is concerned over a backlog for lung function tests which continues to increase.

RELATED: Surgical, diagnostic backlog continues to grow

Doctors Manitoba is identifying five short-term actions to help speed up the backlog.

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It is calling for a lifting of the annual cap on the number of cataract surgeries performed each year at Misericordia Health Centre.

When it comes to allergy testing, there is a call to remove the limit on in-person appointments and return nurses to outpatient clinic so specialists can catch up.

There is also a call to increase the level of mammograms, remove the restrictions of complex lung function and respiratory tests, and to develop a targeted human resource strategy to retain more nurses and technologists.

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