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Improved Access to Surgical Care - Progress Update

The Saskatchewan health system has made incredible improvements in surgical wait times over the past seven years. 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 March 31, 2018 (posted on June 8, 2018)

Between Jnauary 1, 2018 and March 31, 2018, there were 22,080 surgeries performed, with 78.4 per cent of patients receiving their surgery, or an offer of surgery, within three months and 91.3 per cent within six months.

On March 31, there were 5,878 fewer patients waiting more than three months for surgery than in March 2010, a reduction of 38 per cent. The two largest and busiest health regions have both experienced an increase in demand, resulting in 3,500 patients still waiting more than three months for surgery in Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region and 5,195 still waiting more than three months in Saskatoon Health Region.

Access to Surgery - Provincial
(January 1, 2018 to March 31, 2018)
Surgeries Performed or Offered Within Three Months 78.4%
Surgeries Performed or Offered Within Six Months 91.3%
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, 2017 Change Since 2010
Cases Waiting More Than Three Months 15,310 9,432 -38%
Cases Waiting More Than Six Months 9,876 4,353 -56%
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
  January 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018 On March 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 99.5% 99.5% 3 0
 Five Hills 99.5% 99.5% 1 0
 Cypress 69.6% 73.2% 182 166
 Regina Qu’Appelle 68.3% 69.1% 3,500 3,454
 Sunrise 96.2% 98.3% 21 15
 Saskatoon 76.0% 77.4% 5,195 4,853
 Heartland 95.7% 95.7% 0 0
 Kelsey Trail 78.4% 82.0% 27 24
 PA Parkland 82.8% 85.3% 314 278
 Prairie North 95.7% 96.2% 189 164
 Provincial 77.2% 78.4% 9,432 8,954
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 March 31, 2018:

  • In Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region, 1,510 patients;
  • In Saskatoon Health Region, 2,640 patients.

Between January 1, 2018 and March 31, 2018, percentage of surgeries performed within six months:

  • In Regina Qu’Appelle, 86.2 per cent;
  • In Saskatoon, 89.5 per cent.

There were a total of 22,033 patients waiting for surgery on March 31, 2018(including people waiting less than three months). This is a decrease of 19 per cent (or 5,143 fewer cases waiting) since March 2010.

2017-18 fiscal year
An additional $20 million in targeted funding has been provided in this year’s budget to increase surgical volumes to a level that will limit the growth of wait times and help achieve a better supply/demand balance.

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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