Surgical waits grow due to Sask. Party budget cuts

The number of patients waiting more than three months for surgery has jumped 73 per cent across Saskatchewan since March, when the Sask. Party government cut the surgical budget.

That is another 20 per cent increase over last month's numbers.

“After a decade of unprecedented prosperity and record revenues, it's so frustrating to see surgical waits growing again,” said NDP Leader Cam Broten. “Instead of cutting the surgeries budget, they should have cut their own wasteful spending.”

The increase in surgical wait times is especially pronounced in Regina, where the number of people waiting more than three months for surgery has increased by 107 per cent since March.

The premier has also broken and walked away from his promises on wait times for emergency rooms (ER) and specialists.

Despite promising to eliminate ER waits by March 2017, they have not improved. And despite promising that no one who needs to see a specialist will wait longer than one week, the average specialist wait has grown to about 11 months.

“We're waiting far too long in ERs and to see specialists, and now we're also waiting too long for surgeries again,” said Broten. “We can't afford to keep letting the Sask. Party waste so much of our money on their misplaced priorities, while neglecting things like waits in ERs, for specialists and for surgeries. As soon as spending choices get tough, they turn to health care to make the cuts? That’s not what Saskatchewan families would choose.”