Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

Record number of 170  829 surgeries pending in Quebec

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Every month, the health network performs approximately 30,000 surgeries.

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    Speech synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from a written text.

    In December, Minister Christian Dubé feared that the strike days of health network union members would have an impact on surgeries.

    We are delaying approximately 500 surgeries per day, he said. We have lowered our list of [patients waiting for] more than a year and I would not want us to lose all this progress, he added.

    However, according to data updated by the Ministry of Health, the number of patients waiting for surgery has made a substantial jump of nearly 7,000 patients last month to reach 170,829 patients.

    This number has not been seen since 2020, when the list had just over 115,000 patients.

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    Patients waiting for orthopedic surgery remain the most affected with nearly 42,000 of them on the waiting list.

    By domino effect, around 700 patients were added in December to the list of those who have been waiting for more than a year, bringing it to 14,180 patients. This is a first rebound after more than a year of gradual decline.

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    These delays were at the heart of a catch-up plan launched in May by Minister Dubé and by the president of the Federation of Specialist Physicians of Quebec (FMSQ), Dr. Vincent Oliva.

    The objective was to reduce the number of people in waiting for more than a year at 7600 in March 2024, then at 2500 at the end of the year.

    For the Liberal health critic, this is unheard of. In the history of Quebec, there have never been 170,000 Quebecers waiting for surgery in the health network, says André Fortin.

    If the minister blames the strike, he only has himself to blame, because he had a year to negotiate with state workers and it is still not resolved at this time.

    A quote from André Fortin, Liberal spokesperson for health

    In Minister Dubé's office, it is specified that the recent figures include the impact of strike days (postponement of 4,000 surgeries), the holiday season as well as the rise of viruses and congestion in emergency rooms.

    We are aware that we still have a lot of work to do and we will spare no effort in the coming weeks to continue to reduce waiting lists while taking into account the evolution of the current situation, we write.

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    Dr Patrick Charlebois, president of the Quebec Surgery Association.

    Meet in December, the president of the Quebec Surgery Association, Dr. Patrick Charlebois, said he believed that the strike days would have an upward impact on waiting lists.

    Reducing our activities by 30% is easy, but starting a 130% catch-up is impossible, he said. We will therefore try to work at 103%, but the catch-up curve will be extremely long.

    It's impossible, completely illusory, said for her part, Dr. Marie Gdalevitch, who divides her time between the Center for Aesthetic and Orthopedic Reconstruction and the Verdun Hospital, in south-central Montreal.

    At Québec solidaire, health spokesperson Vincent Marissal believes that the key remains the recruitment of personnel.

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    The solidarity deputy for Rosemont, Vincent Marissal.

    Me, I ask him to instead devote himself to providing good working conditions, good workplaces, so that we are able, for example, to run our operating rooms […], which do not run not at their full performance.

    These new data are made public at a time when Quebec is preparing to recruit the CEO and administrators of Santé Québec, the new agency which must manage the health network later in 2024.

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