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Arthritis Society responds to Nova Scotia budget

Statement from Jone Mitchell  
Executive Director, Atlantic Region 

It’s clear from Thursday’s budget announcement the Government of Nova Scotia is listening to our calls to address the need for improved access to joint replacement surgeries. The $1.9-million investment for orthopedic support announced in the budget will allow more Nova Scotians to access hip and knee surgeries sooner. 

On behalf of arthritis patients, we’ve been raising the issue of wait times for some time and recently convened a pan-Canadian working group to put patients waiting in pain first. The COVID-19 pandemic meant many procedures were delayed, including joint replacement surgery, exacerbating the wait times crisis. This budget announcement is some good news for those who’ve been waiting in pain.    

Arthritis is the leading cause of hip and knee replacement surgery. We routinely hear from people about their diminished quality of life while they wait too long for these life-changing surgeries and this past year, the number of those stories has increased.    

Joint pain can be excruciating. It can limit or prohibit the ability to walk and move.  

 We’re also pleased to see other investment in healthcare, which will help accelerate virtual care, support and enhance infection prevention and control, and increase access to medications. Governments across the country have been challenged in many ways this past year, but these investments in the health of Nova Scotians are much needed and welcomed.   

We encourage the Nova Scotia government to work with all stakeholders, including the Arthritis Society, as it moves forward on its commitment to improving access to hip and knee surgery and delivering quality healthcare.  

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