Nova Scotia to use private surgical
HALIFAX – An additional 500
orthopedic surgeries will be performed over the next year as a result of
a Department of Health-approved contract between Capital Health and
Scotia Surgery Inc.
Health Minister Chris d’Entremont announced a demonstration project in
mid-March, 2008, which will allow Capital Health surgeons to use Scotia
Surgery’s operating-room facilities to conduct publicly insured, minor
orthopaedic surgical procedures.
The project will also free space at Capital Health’s VG and Dartmouth
General Hospital sites for surgeons to tackle more complex orthopedic
“The Scotia Surgery project presents a significant opportunity to begin
addressing long patient waits for orthopedic surgery,” said Mr.
d’Entremont. “Ultimately, this could have a major impact on the quality
of lives of patients and their families. Nova Scotians want timely
access to quality healthcare, and this project is an innovative way to
meet their needs.”
The Scotia Surgery clinic, located in Dartmouth, is equipped and
accredited to accommodate low risk, day-surgery procedures for Capital
Health, including knee, ankle, foot and shoulder scopes, and hardware
The one-year project will begin next month. The Department of Health and
Capital District Health Authority will monitor and evaluate the
effectiveness of using a private health facility to reduce wait times
for patients for publicly delivered services.
“Wait times for cardiac and cancer in Capital District have greatly
improved and are within national standards,” said Dr. H. Jaap Bonjer,
head of the Dalhousie University surgery department and Capital District
Health Authority chief of surgery.
“Timely access to orthopedic surgery is our greatest current concern.
Performing orthopedic day surgeries at Scotia Surgery will free up
capacity at CDHA for orthopedic surgeries which require admission to the
hospital, such as hip and knee replacements.”
The Department of Health is allocating almost $1 million of its
orthopedic budget to support the project.
“Nova Scotia has a strong public healthcare system and we are committed
to maintaining and improving it,” said Mr. d’Entremont. “At the same
time, it sometimes makes sense to augment the system to help patients
get treatment faster.
“We are proud to be taking a national leadership role in reducing wait
times, and to be working with partners like Capital Health and Scotia
Surgery to find innovative ways to ensure Nova Scotians receive quality
care in a timely fashion.”
The government of Nova Scotia has made reducing wait times one of its
top five priorities.