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Manitoba Adding Surgical Capacity to Address Backlog

January 8, 2021 2:52 PM | News

Lanette Siragusa

Lanette Siragusa, provincial lead, health system integration, quality/chief nursing officer for Shared Health, speaks during the province’s latest COVID-19 update at the Manitoba legislature in Winnipeg Friday, October 30, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

WINNIPEG — The province will increase surgical capacity next week to begin addressing the backlog created by postponements related to COVID-19.

Approximately 60 additional surgeries will be added each week across the Health Sciences Centre, Misericordia Health Centre, Pan Am Clinic and Concordia Hospital in Winnipeg, with increases also expected to be made to surgical sites in rural and northern health-care facilities over the coming weeks.

The province says surgeries will focus on orthopedic and retinal procedures, as well as vascular, renal, ear nose and throat and other now-urgent general surgeries.


Surgical capacity will be reviewed on a weekly basis, with careful consideration of additional increases alongside ongoing analysis of COVID-19 case activity, anticipated hospitalization and the associated staffing needs in medicine and critical care.

“We must begin to carefully increase access to surgery to meet the needs of patients whose procedures can no longer be delayed,” said Lanette Siragusa, chief nursing officer, Shared Health.

“This will be a slow and gradual increase while we continue to monitor COVID-19 activity and the staffing demands that remain across medicine and critical care.”

Surgery and endoscopies are also expected to begin as soon as this coming week in Swan River, Dauphin, Neepawa, Minnedosa and Brandon, while planning is ongoing for increased surgery at facilities located in the Northern Health Region and the Southern Health region.