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This article was published 15/4/2015 (2388 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Manitoba's health system still lags behind much of the country in conducting timely hip and knee replacements, although its performance is improving.
The Canadian Institute for Health Information released its annual report Tuesday on how well the provinces are meeting performance targets for five key medical procedures.
Manitoba's results were a mixed bag.
On the positive side, the province leads the country in repairing hip fractures quickly -- within 48 hours. It is the only province in which radiation therapy is done within the benchmark period of 28 days 100 per cent of the time.
The bad news is people needing joint replacements in Manitoba continue to suffer some of the worst waits in Canada.
Only 71 per cent of Manitobans needing a hip replacement last year were able to get one within the six-month benchmark period -- third-worst among provinces. Similarly, 71 per cent of Manitobans in need of a knee replacement got it done within the six month time frame, good for only sixth-place among the 10 provinces.
A year earlier, 68 per cent of hip replacements and only 58 per cent of knee replacements in Manitoba were done within the benchmark period.
Manitoba also failed to significantly improve how often cataract surgeries are performed within the nationally acceptable wait time of 112 days. Only 63 per cent of procedures were carried out within the benchmark last year, compared with 80 per cent in the country as a whole.
Progressive Conservative health critic Myrna Driedger said the report shows Manitoba still has a lot of work to do.
"While we have seen improvements in some of the areas, some of the waits are still troubling," she said.
Manitoba's record in performing timely cataract surgeries is second-worst (to Prince Edward Island) in Canada, Driedger noted.
"Certainly having cataracts is a serious safety and quality-of-life issue for seniors, and I think Manitoba has to do a much better job of improving those waits," she said.
Health Minister Sharon Blady said the current average wait time for cataract surgery in Winnipeg is about 11 weeks -- about half what it was 16 years ago.
She said the province would like to see improved co-ordination of cataract surgeries -- much like it has done with joint replacements -- to improve wait times. That could include advising patients facing long waits with a particular surgeon about less onerous waits elsewhere within the system.
Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.