Manitoba doctors want action to deal with surgery backlog: report
WINNIPEG -- Doctors in Manitoba are asking for action to address the surgery and diagnostic test backlog created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new report done by Doctors Manitoba, released Thursday, estimates the backlog includes more than 110,000 procedures.
The report says that total includes surgeries, some of which are serious and life-saving.
Other procedures that are affected include MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds, endoscopies, mammograms, and allergy tests.
The group is asking for the province to commit to a fixed date to address the backlog, create a task force to oversee the issue, and publicly report the size of the backlog monthly.
One of the largest barriers, according to about 1000 doctors surveyed, is a nursing shortage.
On March 31, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced the province would invest at least $50 million to reduce wait times for procedures delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic as part of Budget 2021.
Uzoma Asagwara, NDP Critic for Healthcare, responded to the report with a written statement that said the pandemic has put Manitobans healthcare on hold.
"It's shocking and reckless that fifteen months into the pandemic the government still doesn't have a plan to address the 110,000 plus backlog for surgeries and tests, many of which are serious and life saving,” the statement reads.
“After years of PC healthcare cuts, it's clear we don't have the capacity to address this backlog. It will take years to fix the damage the PCs have caused to the health system.”
Asagwara goes onto write that the government needs act now and work with frontline healthcare staff, hire more nurses, be transparent about the data by publishing regular reports on surgery backlogs and set a date for when the backlog will be cleared.
The full report can be read below.