Province Announces Increased Funding for Hip, Knee and Cataract Procedures To Reduce Wait Times for Manitobans


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$5.3-Million Investment Will Significantly Add to Number of Surgeries Performed: Friesen

The Manitoba government is investing more than $5.3 million to significantly increase the number of hip replacements, knee replacements and cataract surgeries in Manitoba in 2019, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.

“Manitoba patients deserve better health care sooner and that includes reducing the time they wait for priority procedures,” said Friesen.  “As we streamline services, co-ordinate better service delivery and adopt innovative ideas that improve patient care, we can invest in additional hip, knee and cataract surgeries for Manitobans.”

More than 4,100 hip and knee replacements and 12,900 cataract surgeries were performed in Manitoba in 2017-18.  The new investment will ensure at least 1,000 more hip and knee replacement surgeries are performed in 2019, a number which represents a nearly 25 per cent increase, the minister noted.  The new investment will also fund at least 2,000 additional cataract surgeries next year, a 16 per cent increase, he added.

“Our orthopedic and cataract surgery teams in Winnipeg have done an excellent job in increasing the number of procedures possible with existing resources, while ensuring safe and quality care,” said Réal Cloutier, president and chief executive officer of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.  “This important investment by the Manitoba government leverages their efforts and will make it possible for patients to get access to these high-demand services sooner.”

Additional cataract surgeries will take place at Misericordia Health Centre while additional hip and knee surgeries will be performed at Concordia Hospital, Grace Hospital, Health Science Centre Winnipeg and the Boundary Trails Health Centre in southern Manitoba.

“With efficiencies come opportunities.  I commend the outstanding work of our Boundary Trails Health Centre team, which has provided a solid foundation to build on,” said Jane Curtis, chief executive officer of Southern Health–Santé Sud.  “Today’s announcement represents yet another opportunity to partner together and build a sustainable health-care system that will meet the needs of residents, now and into the future.”

Increasing the number of hip and knee replacement surgeries and cataract surgeries was previously recommended by the Wait Times Reduction Task Force as a means to reduce wait times for care.

“The reality is that we are seeing an increased and sustained demand for these procedures as our population ages,” said Dr. Jack McPherson, co-chair of the priority procedure wait times reduction committee of the Wait Times Reduction Task Force.  “We are very pleased the government of Manitoba adopted our recommendation, and believe it will significantly augment the progress we have made to date in completing more procedures and ultimately reducing the amount of time patients currently wait.”

The minister noted today’s announcement is part of the province’s work to improve how care is delivered in Manitoba.  Innovative changes implemented since 2016 are also enhancing Manitobans’ access to care.  Those innovations include offering cataract surgeries using freezing rather than sedation to patients who meet the clinical criteria, offering same-day hip surgery to reduce long hospital stays, and implementing a hip and knee clinic to reduce the number of people referred for surgery.

“The health system transformation process allows the opportunity to look broadly at what services are offered and to create a plan focusing on increasing capacity and improving outcomes for all Manitobans,” said Friesen.  “This will help ensure the long-term sustainability of the health-care system by providing consistent, reliable care and enhancing access for families.”

For more information on wait times in Manitoba, visit

For more information on the health system transformation, visit

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