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Private clinic selection process for hip and knee surgeries questioned by Sask. NDP


Saskatchewan residents face the longest wait times in Canada for hip and knee replacements. Those waiting the longest are being sent to a private Calgary clinic for surgery. The NDP opposition is questioning why.

“A part of the reason we’re facing the situation is because of a significant number of cases that were backed up through the pandemic,” Minister of Health Everett Hindley said.

The average Canadian wait time for a hip replacement is 131 days and in Saskatchewan, it’s 232. It’s faster in every other province, especially in the west. For knee replacements, Canadians wait an average of 161 days. It’s double that in Saskatchewan and again, it’s quicker in every other province.

“I don’t know why in comparison to other provinces and territories why it would be that way,” Hindley said.

To alleviate the backlog, Saskatchewan signed a $6 million deal last year with a private Alberta clinic to perform extra surgeries. The NDP question the clinic selection process.

“That private clinic has donated over $14,000 to the Sask. Party and what did they get, Mr. Speaker? They got a $6 million dollar sole source contract for hip and knee surgeries,” said NDP MLA Meara Conway.

Hindley said that it was done through a request for proposals but later said he had been misinformed.

“It’s my understanding what I’m told now is that this was the only company that would be able to provide what they call short stay hip and knee surgeries and as a result it wasn’t an RFP and they were able to contact directly with them. That’s the explanation I had here from officials just a few moments ago,” he explained.

A year ago, the government estimated that 250 hip and knee surgeries would be performed in Alberta over a 12 month period. Only 90 were done so the government has extended the contract an additional six months to use up the credit balance. Top Stories

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