Travelling Orthopaedics Program Expansion to increase access to surgeries

Travelling Orthopaedics Program Expansion to Increase Access to Surgeries
Executive Council
Health and Community Services
September 5, 2023
A travelling orthopaedics program is expanding to Carbonear General Hospital to complete orthopaedic surgeries in the region starting September 25, 2023.
The Honourable Dr. Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, made the announcement today in Carbonear with the Honourable Tom Osborne, Minister of Health and Community Services, and Dr. Will Moores, Divisional Head of Orthopaedics, NL Health Services.
This builds on the work the travelling team of surgeons has been doing during visits to St. Anthony, which has resulted in patients receiving orthopedic surgery sooner than expected.
The program in St. Anthony has the potential to accommodate approximately 140 surgeries annually. By expanding the program to Carbonear, the Department of Health and Community Services anticipates at least 150 surgeries can be performed each year – this means a total impact of at least 290 additional orthopaedic surgeries completed annually.
Between January and July of this year, 76 surgeries were performed by the team of surgeons travelling to St. Anthony. The patients who received surgery would otherwise have to wait to get their surgery in St. John’s which can take more time given the high demand from the more concentrated population in the area.
The expansion to Carbonear is one of numerous steps, such as same day hip and knee replacement surgeries in the Northeast Avalon region, that the Provincial Government is taking to help ease the pressures of surgical backlogs in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Department of Health and Community Services has recently announced it will implement all 32 recommendations of the Provincial Surgical Task Force, including:
Developing a centralized list of operating rooms across the province to match surgical availability with facility underutilization;
Developing a centralized surgical waitlist, encompassing all regions of the province, to optimize use of all facilities, starting with orthopedics; and
Increasing transportation options for patients who are otherwise ready for discharge.
Task force recommendations such as allowing short stays in personal care homes to increase bed capacity in acute care facilities have already been implemented.
“The travelling orthopaedic team is one of our government’s innovative solutions to help improve access to health care for all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, and we are excited that it will start surgeries at the Carbonear General Hospital before the end of the month. The expansion to Carbonear, and other actions our government is taking, will help improve access to surgery for patients throughout the province.”
Honourable Dr. Andrew Furey
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador
“Expanding the travelling orthopaedic program to Carbonear General Hospital is another step to reduce surgical backlogs and wait times in our province. Work is also underway on the 32 recommendations made by the Provincial Surgical Task Force, and we look forward to seeing more steps taken to increase access to orthopedic surgeries in other parts of the province in the near future.”
Honourable Tom Osborne
Minister of Health and Community Services
“Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services’ division of orthopaedics is pleased to begin arthroplasty at the Carbonear General Hospital. This program is increasing surgical capacity in the province to complete orthopaedic procedures and will help to stabilize the current waitlist. This approach, and other innovative ideas, represents the future of orthopaedic care in our province.”
Dr. William Moores, Divisional Head of Orthopaedics
Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services
“As MHA for Carbonear – Trinity – Bay de Verde, I applaud and welcome the expansion of the travelling orthopaedic program to Carbonear. This will not only have a positive impact on my constituents and people in the region, but it will also benefit all residents of Newfoundland and Labrador as waitlist times will be reduced and access to these surgeries, most of which directly impact quality of life and mobility, is improved.”
Honourable Steve Crocker
Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation and MHA for Carbonear – Trinity – Bay de Verde