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Winnipeg Free Press: U of M head of orthopedic surgery to chair provincial task force on reducing backlog

December 8, 2021 — 

As the Winnipeg Free Press reports:

Manitoba’s long-awaited health-care backlog recovery task force is still assessing how many surgeries have been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, as the government ponders sending more patients outside the province.

“I know that these stories of delayed care touch each and every one of us,” Health Minister Audrey Gordon told reporters Wednesday. “They’re frightening for us and our loved ones.”

She unveiled the members of the new diagnostic and surgical recovery task force at the Manitoba legislature, but provided no timeline for clearing the backlog.

Gordon did mention cancer backlogs particular could be cleared in the next 13 months — unless delayed diagnoses yield a large number requiring surgeries.

“CancerCare Manitoba has advised me that we are on track for known backlogs to be addressed within 2022,” the minister said.

“I caution we need to keep diligent about deferred care; it’s the part of the backlog that may not even yet be known to our health system.”

The task force will be chaired by Dr. Peter MacDonald [BSc/83, MD/83].

MacDonald has served as head of orthopedic surgery at the University of Manitoba’s Max Rady College of Medicine since 2007.

He practises at the Pan Am Clinic in Winnipeg and specializes in shoulder, knee and sports injuries, while serving as the clinic’s chief innovation and research officer. He was appointed the vice-president of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons last year.

MacDonald is also employed as head physician of the Winnipeg Jets and has served as head orthopedic surgeon to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The newly struck committee has the challenge of expediting what Doctors Manitoba has estimated to be 56,000 surgeries delayed due to the pandemic.

Read the full Free Press story here.




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