Four orthopedic surgeons have been recruited to improve care and help more Nova Scotians receive hip and knee replacements.
One of the new surgeons is already working at Valley Regional Hospital. Three others will join teams at the Aberdeen Hospital, Dartmouth General and QEII Health Sciences Centre by this September.
“Government is investing more than $16 million over two years to reduce wait times for hip and knee replacements and we’re seeing improvement,” said Minister of Health and Wellness, Randy Delorey. “The addition of four new surgeons, along with other supportive roles and changes in how services are delivered will get even more patients into surgery faster.”
Nova Scotia Health Authority recruited the surgeons as part of a multi-year plan to improve care, promote wellness and increase access to hip and knee replacement surgeries for Nova Scotians.
“More Nova Scotians received the surgeries they needed last year,” said Dr. Marcy Saxe-Braithwaite, senior director, Perioperative (Surgical) Services for Nova Scotia Health Authority. “Our overall wait list for hips and knees has already begun to decrease.”
New surgeons will initially focus on seeing patients who have faced long waits for hip or knee replacements. Working with surgeons’ offices, Nova Scotia Health Authority will help identify people on their lists who could be referred to these new surgeons to receive their surgery sooner and to help with the backlog of patients.
“Our strategy places a greater focus on wellness, offering patients greater choice and is helping more patients receive the care they need sooner,” said Janet Knox, president and CEO, Nova Scotia Health Authority. “There were 4.6 per cent fewer patients waiting at the end of 2017-18 than the year before and greater progress is expected as more elements are implemented.”
A key element of the plan involves a new centralized intake process that will have all patients referred to an orthopedic assessment clinic where they will receive an initial assessment and support from a team focused on their wellness. A new wellness model will improve care for patients following their surgery, helping them mobilize as quickly as possible to achieve the best possible results.
Orthopedic surgeries are done at Dartmouth General Hospital, Cape Breton Regional Hospital, the Halifax Infirmary Hospital site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre, Aberdeen Hospital and Valley Regional Hospital. Pediatric surgeries are done at the IWK Health Centre.