Knee, hip surg­eries not on tar­get: AG

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON / PROVINCE -

Health Min­is­ter Leo Glavine ac­knowl­edges Nova Sco­tia still has the coun­try’s worst wait times for knee and hip surg­eries, but says such pro­ce­dures are quickly be­ing stepped up.

Nova Sco­tia’s au­di­tor gen­eral Michael Pickup said in a re­port re­leased Wed­nes­day that the Nova Sco­tia Health Au­thor­ity has fallen short on two-yearold rec­om­men­da­tions on wait­time re­port­ing for knee and hip surg­eries.

About 90 per cent of Nova Sco­tia pa­tients re­ceive hip re­place­ments within 750 days, and knee re­place­ments within 800 days, the au­di­tor’s re­port notes. Na­tion­ally, the bench­mark is within 182 days.

Glavine said more hip and knee surg­eries are be­ing per­formed each year. The Health Depart­ment said the au­thor­ity is on track to per­form 879 long­stand­ing hip and knee surg­eries this fis­cal year, 265 more than last fis­cal year. “We’re get­ting the long-wait­ers and acute into surgery much quicker than what we’ve been do­ing in the past,’’ Glavine said.

The min­is­ter ac­knowl­edged, how­ever, that it will be “some time’’ be­fore the prov­ince will be able to move up from its last-place rank­ing.

In au­di­tor Pickup’s re­port Wed­nes­day — a fol­lowup track­ing the gov­ern­ment’s re­sponse to rec­om­men­da­tions in re­ports from 2013 and 2014 — he said the au­thor­ity has only com­pleted two of his seven 2014 rec­om­men­da­tions on op­er­at­ing room us­age and sur­gi­cal wait-time re­port­ing.

Glavine said mov­ing to one pro­vin­cial health au­thor­ity about two years ago com­pli­cated the process of im­ple­ment­ing the rec­om­men­da­tions.

“As they start year three, this will be a re­quire­ment from my­self as min­is­ter and our gov­ern­ment that (the wait-time re­port­ing rec­om­men­da­tions) are put in place,’’ said Glavine af­ter a cab­i­net meet­ing Wed­nes­day. Glavine said he will meet au­thor­ity of­fi­cials soon to dis­cuss im­ple­ment­ing the out­stand­ing rec­om­men­da­tions.

Pickup said the health au­thor­ity has yet to give cit­i­zens a clear tar­get of how long they must await for the op­er­a­tions, or a mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem to in­di­cate how hos­pi­tals are per­form­ing.

Pickup’s re­port said au­di­tors had ex­pected to see the health au­thor­ity pro­duce a time­line for fol­low­ing up on the rec­om­men­da­tions.

“Our 2014 au­dit of sur­gi­cal wait­list and op­er­at­ing room uti­liza­tion found that Nova Sco­tia was not meet­ing na­tional bench­marks ... which shows the im­por­tance of man­ag­ing wait­lists and op­er­at­ing room us­age,’’ says the re­port.

“As they start year three, this will be a re­quire­ment from my­self as min­is­ter and our gov­ern­ment that (the wait-time re­port­ing rec­om­men­da­tions) are put in place.”

Health Min­is­ter Leo Glavine

Pickup

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