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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 six 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 January 31, 2017 (posted on March 28, 2017)

Between November 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017, there were 22,107 surgeries performed, with 82.1 per cent of patients receiving their surgery, or an offer of surgery, within three months and 93.5 per cent within six months.

On January 31, there were 6,884 fewer patients waiting more than three months for surgery than in March 2010, a reduction of 45 per cent. The two largest and busiest health regions have both experienced an increase in demand, resulting in 2,895 patients still waiting more than three months for surgery in Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region and 5,052 still waiting more than three months in Saskatoon Health Region.

Access to Surgery - Provincial
(November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017)
Surgeries Performed or Offered Within Three Months 82.1%
Surgeries Performed or Offered Within Six Months 93.5%
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 Jan. 31, 2017 Change Since 2010
Cases Waiting More Than Three Months 15,284 8,401 -45%
Cases Waiting More Than Six Months 9,866 3,712 -62%
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 each month.

In addition to reporting the wait time from when surgery was booked to when surgery was provided, we are now able to 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
  Nov. 1, 2016 to Jan. 31, 2017 On Jan. 31, 2017
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 100.0% 100.0% 0 0
 Five Hills 97.8% 98.3% 8 3
 Cypress 92.6% 94.1% 67 63
 Regina Qu’Appelle 75.4% 76.2% 2,895 2,851
 Sunrise 82.0% 82.4% 66 63
 Saskatoon 77.5% 79.2% 5,052 4,806
 Heartland 100.0% 100.0% 0 0
 Kelsey Trail 99.5% 100.0% 0 0
 PA Parkland 86.4% 88.6% 268 211
 Prairie North 98.3% 98.4% 45 39
 Provincial 80.9% 82.1% 8,401 8,036
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 November 30, 2016:

  • In Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region, 1,217 patients;
  • In Saskatoon Health Region, 2,406 patients.

Between November 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017, percentage of surgeries performed within six months:

  • In Regina Qu’Appelle, 89.2 per cent;
  • In Saskatoon, 92.1 per cent.

There were a total of 21,826 patients waiting for surgery on January 31, (including people waiting less than three months). This is a decrease of 20 per cent (or 5,350 fewer cases waiting) since March 2010.

2016-17 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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