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June 10, 2022

Hamilton Health Sciences’ innovative solution to some of the surgical backlog

HAMILTON, ON – There are 1,396 pediatric and 6,053 adults waiting for surgery at HHS. A backlog of surgical procedures was evident before the pandemic, but COVID-19 has worsened the situation.

With funding of $450,00O through the province’s Surgical Innovation Fund, HHS has developed a plan to tackle wait times for certain spine, knee and eye day surgeries.

Starting in the fall, some adult day surgeries currently performed at Hamilton General Hospital (HGH) and McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH) will move to West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH) in Grimsby. Surgeons from the Hamilton hospitals will also move with their patients to perform these procedures.

“This innovative approach will support approximately 75 spine procedures per year, as well as 75 orthopedic scope procedures and about 60 eye-muscle surgeries,” says Dr. Ved Tandan, site chief of surgery at WLMH. “It will achieve a number of hospital priorities, including helping to drive down the surgical backlog.”

This initiative will increase surgical capacity overall at HHS. “We’ll be able to do more adult outpatient, day surgeries, care for more children at MCH and care for more adult patients requiring complex surgeries for spinal issues,” says Leslie Gauthier, vice president, clinical support services and surgery at HHS.

New equipment is already starting to arrive at WLMH and staff training and education to support these surgeries will take place over the summer.

The $86.2 million Surgical Innovation Fund is supporting 187 projects to hospitals province-wide, with the goal of helping them perform more surgeries and procedures as they continue to ramp up non-urgent and non-emergent surgeries.

Please see the HHS Share story for further details: https://www.hamiltonhealthsciences.ca/share/reducing-wait-times/.