More than 150,000 Quebecers are currently waiting to undergo surgery, while the pandemic has increased the waiting list.
Last June, before the fourth wave, the Minister of Health of Quebec launched his plan to make up for the delay caused by the epidemic in terms of surgeries. After a few months, the situation is improving, but not at the same rate everywhere.
In Bas-Saint-Laurent, 3,140 people have been waiting for surgery (25%), or 782 for more than six months and 170 have been waiting for more than a year.
The wait is longer for day surgery, knee replacement and weight loss surgery.
Vice President and CEO of the Integrated Center for Health and Social Services (CISSS) at Bas-Saint-Laurent, Dr. Jan. Carvalho.
“In the percentage of our activity in the operating room, for several months we have been around 60-70% of what was expected and there are already 2-3 weeks above 80%,” he added.
In Gaspé, 971 people are on the waiting list, including 13% who have been waiting for more than six months. On the North Shore, 693 people have been waiting for surgery, including 116 for more than six months.
The health minister wants to catch up by March 2023, everywhere in the county.
Before the pandemic, 30 people had been waiting for barely more than six months for surgery in Bas Saint Laurent.
“When we look at the profile in general, we are probably in a better position compared to other regions in Quebec, it remains that the user who is waiting on the waiting list has a need,” emphasized Dr. Jean-Christophe Carvalho.
Eastern Quebec regions cannot rely on private medical clinics to perform some surgeries, as they can in large centers.
Residents of Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie and Côte-Nord are still among those waiting the shortest time before going under the knife.
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