First Surgeries Performed in St. Anthony Under Travelling Orthopaedic Program

Reposted from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador:

January 25, 2023 – St. John’s, NL: The travelling orthopaedic team from Eastern Health has completed its first joint replacement surgery at the Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital in St. Anthony. Announced last fall as a measure to address wait times for hip and knee joint replacement surgeries in Newfoundland and Labrador, the initiative has the potential to accommodate approximately 140 surgeries at this site annually.

There continues to be significant demand for hip and knee replacement surgery in the province, which has resulted in longer wait times. Reducing waitlists is a priority for all health care stakeholders, and work is also underway to utilize additional operating room capacity at Carbonear General Hospital for inpatient joint replacement surgeries.

The Provincial Government has also implemented a number of creative measures to help address the surgical backlog in the province such as a partnership with the University of Ottawa Heart Institute to address the waitlist for cardiac surgery; increased regional caps on cataract surgeries in non-hospital facilities; and hip and knee joint replacement surgeries on an outpatient basis for suitable candidates. A task force of health care providers and stakeholders was also established in June of last year to tackle the current surgical backlog and provide meaningful solutions to help the province meet national benchmarks.

“We know there is significant demand for hip and knee replacement surgery in the province, resulting in growing wait times. I know firsthand the impact that waiting for joint surgery has on an individual, so I am extremely pleased that we have this expanded surgery option in St. Anthony, and I extend my thanks to everyone involved in the initiative. It is a wonderful example of how we can use our collective resources to increase access to health care, thereby benefitting the residents of our province. Reducing waitlists is a priority for all of our health care stakeholders.”
Honourable Dr. Andrew Furey
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“This inaugural travelling orthopaedic surgery at the Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital by the travelling surgical team represents a very positive step forward in our efforts to address the hip and knee joint replacement waitlist. While it is difficult to feel the immediate impacts from a number of the initiatives we have implemented regarding surgical backlogs and recruitment and retention efforts, significant change takes time and the solutions are complex, but it is all part of our larger plan.”
Honourable Tom Osborne
Minister of Health and Community Services

“I am very pleased with the implementation of a travelling orthopaedic program at Curtis Memorial, recognizing the importance of the hospital to the region. This program will complement the excellent orthopaedic service currently provided and ensure the stability of this valuable resource. This has been a priority for me, as it is critical to residents. I will continue to work towards stabilizing services and facilities throughout the region, and advocate for the district of St. Barbe – L’Anse aux Meadows.”
Honourable Krista Lynn Howell
MHA for St. Barbe – L’Anse aux Meadows 

“Yesterday, we completed the first three arthroplasty cases by Eastern Health’s orthopedic and anesthesia team, which is in place to help increase access to orthopedic surgeries for residents throughout the province. The first day was a great success and I look forward to three more days of surgery this week. The current wait times for arthroplasty in Newfoundland and Labrador are at unprecedented levels and it is vital that we utilize all available resources to try to address these issues. This has taken a significant amount of collaboration from Labrador-Grenfell Health and Eastern Health as well as support from patients and health-care professionals. I would like to extend many thanks to all those involved.”
Dr. William Moores
Divisional Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Eastern Health


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Last updated: 2023-02-15