Wait time increases an “alarming trend,” says Michael

NDP Leader and Health Critic Lorraine Michael

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) says reports about wait times for cardiac surgery indicate an alarming trend for this province, and she would like answers to some questions about the reasons for the increases.

“Compared to the fiscal year 2011-12, it looks – according to government’s own numbers – that the number of patients getting vital heart surgery within the recommended wait time periods has decreased,” Michael said today.

“I would like to know what is causing this. We haven’t heard of a shortage of specialist doctors. Are there fewer beds available? Fewer operating rooms or nurses or other specialized staff?”

There are ups and down in the wait time numbers, says Michael, but a distinct downward trend is clearly observable.

For example, in the second quarter (July-Sept.) of 2011-12, 94% of Level 2 cardiac patients received their surgery within the recommended 42 days; by the second quarter of 2014-15, that number had dropped to 85%. Michael notes that the recorded wait times do not include either the time patients wait to see a specialist or the time they wait to get tests such as dye tests which help doctors determine whether surgery is necessary.

“I would very much like to know why people are calling my office, talk radio shows, and anyone else they can think of as they desperately try to get medical attention for their loved ones,” Michael said today.

The NDP leader has requested a meeting with the Health and Community Services minister but has not yet heard back as to when that meeting might take place.

Associated Caucus Members: 

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