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SaltWire: N.L. Medical Association says surgical waitlist has ballooned to almost 6,800

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This article was written by Atlantic Briefs Desk for SaltWire. Published April 27, 2022. To access the original article, click here

 ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association is calling on the provincial government to address surgical backlogs in the province.

In March, the NLMA said that health system shutdowns and cancelled surgeries led to surgeons at referral centres in St. John’s, including the Health Sciences Centre and St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital, to report 6,113 backlogged surgeries.

The NLMA reported an additional 700 backlogged gynecological surgeries not reported in March, pushing the total number of patients the association said are on surgical waitlists to 6,797 as of April 12.

Of those, 205 are cancer surgeries, with the highest being 101 patients who are awaiting urologic cancer surgery. Forty patients are listed as waiting for general cancer surgery

Of 6,592 waitlisted general procedures, 2,950 patients are waiting for orthopaedic surgery.

The association said it wants to see the provincial government bring surgeons and nurses together to help regional health authorities develop a plan to reduce the surgical backlog. It also called for the province to reduce the surgical backlog to pre-pandemic levels by a fixed date and increase operating room capacity.
 
Additionally, NLMA said it would like to see an online dashboard developed to report the number of backlogged surgical cases to be updated monthly.
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