Diagnostic, surgery backlog may have peaked: Doctors Manitoba

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Physicians are calling for a targeted health-care human resources strategy in Manitoba now that the COVID-19 pandemic backlog of diagnostic tests appears to have peaked.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 31/05/2022 (249 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Physicians are calling for a targeted health-care human resources strategy in Manitoba now that the COVID-19 pandemic backlog of diagnostic tests appears to have peaked.

Doctors Manitoba wants restrictions and limits removed on certain medical tests and surgeries. The organization, which represents more than 4,000 doctors, released new recommendations Tuesday, along with its updated estimate on the state of the backlog.

The number of diagnostic tests in the queue declined for the first time in more than a year, largely due to additional ultrasound, mammography and endoscopy exams being conducted, Doctors Manitoba stated in a news release.

KATHY YOUNG / ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO The overall backlog is now estimated to be at 166,903 files — a decrease of 2,295 since last month, although the number of wait-listed surgeries is still slowly increasing.

The overall backlog is now estimated to be at 166,903 files — a decrease of 2,295 since last month, although the number of wait-listed surgeries is still slowly increasing. The slight decline overall likely means the overall backlog has peaked, Doctors Manitoba stated.

The organization recommends the province focus on dealing with the shortage of nurses and technologists by developing and implementing a human resources strategy. It suggests the province ramp up breast cancer screening and remove limits on certain procedures, including the annual cap on cataract surgery at Misericordia Health Centre and restrictions on where lung-function tests and allergy tests can be conducted.

In a statement, the union that represents 7,000 health care workers echoed the recommendation to staff up diagnostic technologists.

The current wait time for an MRI is 24 weeks, said Bob Moroz, president of the Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals.

That’s an increase of 50 per cent since February 2020.

“This month, Shared Health stated it needs 16 additional MRI technologists to drive down wait times — but stopped short of providing funding or any other commitments to achieve this. Manitobans have gone far too long without a plan,” Moroz stated Tuesday.

History

Updated on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 11:42 PM CDT: Fixes typo.

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