Waiting lists for surgeries in Quebec are growing, but the pandemic only exacerbates an enduring problem.
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For Dr. Robert Turcotte, president of the Association de l’orthopédie du Québec, “surgery is a bit of the poor child” of the health system.
“We have always had waiting lists. Lists, yes, some attention has been paid to it in trying to limit the deadlines, but the injection of resources has been severely limited, ”he says.
He denounces in particular that surgeries are more valued in other provinces.
“Most of my colleagues in Canada operate two days a week, whereas in Quebec, the average is more than one day, maybe a day and a half a week,” says Dr. Turcotte.
“So we are expensive trained surgeons and maybe we spend more of our time putting patients on our waiting list than operating them,” he adds.
Between 130,000 and 140,000 patients are currently awaiting surgery, according to the doctor.
Even if Quebec has announced the sending of reinforcements to hospitals, this assistance will be of little use for operating theaters, assures Robert Turcotte.
“In the operating room, it may prevent nurses from the operating room being withdrawn to go to intensive care or the emergency room, but certainly not that CLSC nurses will be useful for our patients on the waiting lists,” he says.