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Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen says his government is already discussing the recommendations in a report into wait times for various medical procedures in Manitoba.

He says the report was very positive in some areas and very negative in others.

Health Minister Kelvin GoertzenHealth Minister Kelvin Goertzen"We're near the top of the country when it comes to dealing with hip fractures. When it comes to radiation for cancer, which of course can be life-saving, we are among the best in the country for cancer treatment, at a higher rate than most other provinces. So that's very good. We're not doing as well when it comes to hip and knee replacement and cataract surgeries, so that is a concern."

According to the NDP Opposition, the Canadian Institute for Health Information report says only about half of the people who needed hip replacements last year had the surgery within the recommended six-month wait time.

The numbers for knee replacements were worse. Goertzen says they will fix the deficiencies by implementing changes in how the procedures are done to make them more efficient as well as by increasing investments in these areas of treatment.

But he cautions it is not simply a matter of throwing more money at the problem.

"Certainly, we've seen in other provinces where they've infused a lot of money for procedures, the gains don't last particularly long and so you need to look at how the procedures are done. So, going to day surgery for hip replacements, certainly the patients really like that, but it's also very, very good for the system as well because it moves people through more quickly.

"We're doing cataracts in a different way, more quickly, which has now been happening over the last couple of months. That's part of it, a better process, but also there needs to be more investment as well."

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More people waiting longer for hip/knee replacements


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