By The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG – Manitoba is enlisting outside help, including from the United States, to reduce surgery backlogs.
The province is aiming to have a few hundred spinal surgeries done by Sanford Health in Fargo, North Dakota later this year.
Health Minister Audrey Gordon says patients will not be forced to go — it will only be an option for those who want to.
The government is also in discussions with the Maples Surgical Centre in Winnipeg, and other private facilities, to perform gynecological surgeries, where there is a backlog of three-thousand people.
The new measures come from a working group the province recently established to reduce backlogs that have grown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gordon says the province is also turning to a new screening tool for colon cancer that does not need to be done in an operating room.
She says the new procedure will provide a faster diagnosis and free up operating room space for other procedures.