FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has reduced the number of people waiting longer than a year for hip and knee replacements by over 50 per cent, between December 2020 and April 30, 2021. This is in keeping with the government commitment to improve wait times for health services.

“Part of our commitment to the people of New Brunswick in our speech from the throne was to reduce the list of those waiting over a year for hip and knee surgery, by 50 per cent by May 2021,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “And even despite a pandemic, we met our goal on schedule.”

From December 2020 to April 2021, the number of people on a waiting list decreased from 747 to 346. As part of a pilot project in Saint John, over 450 hip and knee replacement surgeries have been completed at St. Joseph’s Hospital since Oct. 13, 2020.

The Provincial Surgical Advisory Group and the regional health authorities have been working since June 2020 to address wait times, with a significant focus on those waiting longer than a year. The goal is to entirely eliminate all waiting periods of more than one year, by the end of March 2022. The focus will then be directed towards attaining the nationally established wait time benchmark of six months.

“All the hard work that went into this initiative to decrease wait times has had a real impact on New Brunswickers,” said Shephard. “Now we must ensure that we keep up the momentum to build on our successes and reach our other goals.”

More information on provincial government priorities is available online.