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Improved Access to Surgical Care - Progress Update

The Saskatchewan health system has made incredible improvements in surgical wait times. We continue to track and monitor key indicators, such as the number of patients waiting more than three months and six months.

Results as of December 31, 2018 (posted on February 28, 2019)

Between October 01, 2018 and December 31, 2018, there were 22,848 surgeries performed, with 78.6 per cent of patients receiving their surgery, or an offer of surgery, within three months and 90.7 per cent within six months.

On December 31, there were 5,603 fewer patients waiting more than three months for surgery than in March 2010, a reduction of 37 per cent. The two largest and busiest former regions have both experienced an increase in demand, resulting in 3,431 patients still waiting more than three months for surgery in the former Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region and 5,427 still waiting more than three months in the former Saskatoon Health Region.

Access to Surgery - Provincial
(October 01, 2018 to December 31, 2018)
Surgeries Performed or Offered Within Three Months 78.6%
Surgeries Performed or Offered Within Six Months 90.7%
Percentage calculated over the time period. A small number of patients were offered surgery within three months, but opted for a later date.

Number of Patients Waiting
(Progress Since March 2010)


Mar. 31, 2010 Dec 31, 2018 Change Since 2010
Cases Waiting More Than Three Months 15,308 9,705 -37%
Cases Waiting More Than Six Months 9,874 5,253 -47%
A patient waiting for two or more surgeries is counted as two or more cases.

The four-year Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative concluded in March 2014, after making significant improvements that resulted in sooner, safer, smarter surgical care. Wait time information is updated quarterly.

In addition to reporting the wait time from when surgery was booked to when surgery was provided, we also report the wait time from the booking date to the date the patient could have received surgery, since some patients choose to wait longer than the earliest date offered to them.

Access to Surgery, by Health Region
  Oct 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018 On Dec 31, 2018
Health Region
(Southeast to
Surgeries Performed Within Three Months Surgeries Performed or Offered Within Three Months Patients Waiting More Than Three Months Patients Waiting: No Offer of Surgery Within Three Months
 Sun Country 100% 100.0% 4 3
 Five Hills 94.2% 94.6% 25 24
 Cypress 67.1% 68.2% 173 158
 Regina Qu’Appelle 72.3% 72.9% 3,431 3,382
 Sunrise 93.0% 95.7% 38 24
 Saskatoon 76.7% 77.7% 5,427 5,049
 Heartland 80.0% 80.0% - -
 Kelsey Trail 80.7% 81.9% 39 36
 PA Parkland 80.1% 81.2% 282 245
 Prairie North 91.4% 92.2% 286 240
 Provincial 77.7% 78.6% 9,705 9,161
The percentage reflects wait times for surgeries over the time period. “Patients Waiting” counts the number of cases on that date in which a patient hasn’t had surgery yet and has waited longer than three months. Location reflects health region in which the surgery took place, not the patients' place of residence.

Patients on wait list who had already waited six months on December 31, 2018:

  • In Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region, 1,666 patients;
  • In Saskatoon Health Region, 3,244 patients.

Between October 01, 2018 and December 31, 2018, percentage of surgeries performed within six months:

  • In Regina Qu’Appelle, 87.1 per cent;
  • In Saskatoon, 88.7 per cent.

There were a total of 22,825 patients waiting for surgery on December 31(including people waiting less than three months). This is a decrease of 16 per cent (or 4,350 fewer cases waiting) since March 2010.

Related information

For more wait times statistics, click on the Surgical System Performance link in the left menu.

 See left menu for more about the Surgical Initiative.

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