Arthritis Society responds to Saskatchewan budget
President and CEO
We’re pleased to see the government investing in high-priority initiatives across the health sector as part of yesterday’s budget announcement. However, we’re also disappointed the budget didn’t mention a specific investment to address the long wait times people are experiencing for joint replacement surgeries in Saskatchewan.
Even before COVID, Saskatchewan had some of the longest wait times for hip and knee replacements. The pandemic has just exacerbated the problem.
Arthritis is the leading cause of joint replacement surgery. At the Arthritis Society, we hear regularly from people across the country about their diminished quality of life while waiting for this surgery. Joint pain can be excruciating. It can limit or prohibit the ability to walk and move. It can interrupt sleep and lead to depression and other mental health issues. Surgery delays can also lead to weight gain, diabetes, heart and circulatory issues and other compounding health challenges.
This needs to be a priority for all governments – and Canadians agree. In a recent Angus omnibus poll, more than three quarters of Saskatchewan residents agreed that provincial and federal governments should make it a priority to reduce wait times for joint replacement surgery.
We’re doing what we can to advocate for improved wait times for joint replacement surgery and to support Canadians as they wait for these necessary procedures. We recently convened a pan-Canadian working group to look at the issue and provide concrete recommendations.
But we need government to make this a priority – the federal, provincial and territorial governments must act now.
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