Some patients wait months as Sask. grapples with surgery backlog

Article content continuedHartman, who has osteoarthritis, said she’s needed a hip replacement for more than a

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Hartman, who has osteoarthritis, said she’s needed a hip replacement for more than a year.

She joined the Saskatchewan NDP on Tuesday to call on the government to address the backlog. She said she loves going for walks, but now drags one foot when she moves and is in “constant, 24/7” pain as she tries to adapt to her limited mobility.

“You almost want to say, ‘Maybe I should go to Vancouver and have the surgery there, because they’re not listening in this province at all,’ ” Hartman said.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority could not provide comment by publication time.

The SHA begun resuming postponed surgeries in May as part of its service resumption plan, which has gradually increased health services volumes including surgery. At the plan’s third phase, which launched on July 13, the SHA estimated surgical volumes would increase to between 75 and 85 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, depending on the site. A date for the final phase has yet to be set.

People whose surgeries are considered urgent never stopped getting care throughout the pandemic. The median wait time for surgery in Saskatchewan has fallen substantially since April because of the priority on urgent operations; more than 68 per cent of the 9,507 surgeries performed between April 30 and June 30 happened within three weeks.

Wait times can be substantially longer for patients like Hartman, whose surgeries are considered elective or non-urgent even if their conditions cause significant discomfort or pain.