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Manitoba creates provincial spine surgery program

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Manitoba will be performing more spinal surgeries in the province, Health Minister Uzoma Asagwara said Tuesday.

Asagwara announced the creation of the provincial spine program, spending $12 million to help reduce wait times for Manitobans needing spinal surgery.

“The number of Manitobans that experience spinal pain or trauma paints a grim picture,”Asagwara said. “These people are our friends, family members, colleagues and community members, and every day they are living in pain. For some folks, they’ve been living in pain with no end in sight.”

Under the new program, the number of spinal surgeries performed in Manitoba will increase by over 50 per cent beginning May 1 at Concordia Hospital, Brandon Regional Health Centre and Health Sciences Centre. An outpatient clinic for spinal injuries will also be set up at HSC.

“This investment ensures that Manitobans dealing with spine pain and trauma receive timely care, so they can get swiftly back to living their lives pain-free,” Asagwara said.

Three spinal surgeons have been recruited to Manitoba, according to the province. Two will work in Winnipeg, while one will work in Brandon.

Dr. Ed Buchel, provincial surgical lead for Shared Health, said more capacity and better care has been needed following reviews of the current situation.

“We have a new enhanced collaborative care clinic, which will increase our capacity for early evaluations,” Buchel said. “Operating theatres are being built to deliver more spine care to the most sick and complex patients. State-of-the-art equipment is going in those operating rooms.”

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