NDP, Saskatoon mom call on government to address long biopsy wait times

The large backlog of biopsies identified in yesterday’s report from the Provincial Auditor is making treatment more difficult and causing stress for patients. One such patient shared her experience today in the hope of galvanizing action, joining NDP Leader Ryan Meili and Health Critic Vicki Mowat to call on the government to make the necessary improvements to reduce biopsy wait times to a matter of days rather than weeks.

“Waiting on a biopsy result can be incredibly stressful, and a long wait can delay badly needed treatment,” Meili said. “Doctors have been raising this issue for years now, and this Auditor’s Report shows that more needs to be done to address the backlog and ensure prompt testing is available for those who need it.”

Hall, a school bus driver in Saskatoon, went to an appointment with her family doctor regarding health concerns back in mid-November. Her doctor noticed the signs of a growth in her lower abdomen and then immediately pushed for a referral appointment with a Gynecological Oncologist. She is scheduled to have surgery on Thursday but was told it will take two to three weeks for her to receive the biopsy results.

“For the next few weeks, I’ll be nervously waiting for my results,” Hall said. That’s nearly a month of not knowing. For patients like me, and others with less obvious physical symptoms, this is incredibly difficult.”

According to the Provincial Auditor, people in Saskatoon wait an average of 12.1 days for results, and in Regina, the wait is 18.7 days.

“Ralanda’s experience is something far too many Saskatchewan families have gone through,” said Mowat. “People are understandably frustrated. The Sask. Party government has known about this problem for years now, but the backlog persists. Why?”