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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 November 30, 2016 (posted on February 23, 2017)

Between September 1, 2016 and November 30, 2016, there were 22,899 surgeries performed, with 80.7 per cent of patients receiving their surgery, or an offer of surgery, within three months and 93.9 per cent within six months.

On November 30, there were 8,021 fewer patients waiting more than three months for surgery than in March 2010, a reduction of 52 per cent. The two largest and busiest health regions have both experienced an increase in demand, resulting in 2,566 patients still waiting more than three months for surgery in Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region and 4,380 still waiting more than three months in Saskatoon Health Region.

Access to Surgery - Provincial
(September 1, 2016 to November 30, 2016)
Surgeries Performed or Offered Within Three Months 80.7%
Surgeries Performed or Offered Within Six Months 93.9%
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 Nov. 30, 2016 Change Since 2010
Cases Waiting More Than Three Months 15,284 7,263 -52%
Cases Waiting More Than Six Months 9,866 3,224 -67%
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
  Sep. 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2016 On Nov. 30, 2016
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 99.6% 99.6% 0 0
 Five Hills 97.3% 97.9% 3 2
 Cypress 94.2% 96.1% 62 54
 Regina Qu’Appelle 72.9% 73.6% 2,566 2,534
 Sunrise 80.1% 81.0% 44 42
 Saskatoon 76.3% 77.9% 4,380 4,161
 Heartland 93.3% 93.3% 0 0
 Kelsey Trail 97.8% 98.8% 0 0
 PA Parkland 83.7% 85.8% 191 152
 Prairie North 99.3% 99.5% 17 14
 Provincial 79.5% 80.7% 7,263 6,959
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, 1,021 patients;
  • In Saskatoon Health Region, 2,146 patients.

Between September 1, 2016 and November 30, 2016, percentage of surgeries performed within six months:

  • In Regina Qu’Appelle, 88.4 per cent;
  • In Saskatoon, 93.5 per cent.

There were a total of 21,439 patients waiting for surgery on November 30, (including people waiting less than three months). This is a decrease of 21 per cent (or 5,736 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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