Manitoba’s surgical backlog down 24% from all-time high, new estimate suggests

Manitoba’s backlog of diagnostic tests and surgeries that have accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic is down 24 per cent since last month’s all-time high.

That’s according to new estimates by Doctors Manitoba.

The group believes the backlog is at 128,000 cases, down from last month’s estimate of nearly 168,000 cases.

The total number includes surgeries, diagnostic imaging tests and procedures like allergy testing, mammograms and chronic pain assessments.


“Now that the backlog has peaked, we hope to see more surgeries and tests completed than ever before to get patients the care they need as soon as possible,” said Doctors Manitoba president Candace Bradshaw.

Bradshaw says physicians are seeing patients facing longer and uncertain waits, often in pain or discomfort.

Doctors Manitoba reviewed progress on three recommendations it presented to the province’s health system last year.

They say the province successfully created a task force to oversee reducing the backlog.

But Doctors Manitoba says the government failed to provide monthly updates (in progress) and set a target date to clear the backlog (incomplete).

The group added a fourth recommendation on Tuesday: “ensur(ing) the health system not only catches up, but also keeps up with a growing population and advances in medical practice through annual increases in surgery and diagnostic volumes when needed.”

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