The pandemic backlog for ultrasound testing has been eliminated through the work of the Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force using a multi-pronged approach to build capacity in Manitoba’s health-care system.
“The Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force is producing results that ensure Manitobans can get the care they need, when they need it,” said Health Minister Audrey Gordon. “The median wait time for ultrasounds is now shorter than it was before the pandemic with more than one-third of sites providing scans meeting the wait time target of 8.5 weeks. This means more Manitobans can access this important diagnostic imaging tool more quickly.”
Data showed 612 patients were waiting for an ultrasound as a result of the pandemic backlog in October 2022. The newest data for November 2022, now updated on the task force’s online dashboard, shows these procedures have been completed and the backlog is at zero.
The minister noted the task force eliminated the ultrasound pandemic backlog by supporting strategic additions to Manitoba’s health-care workforce at various hospitals throughout the province.
The latest available data also shows that the wait for ultrasounds has decreased to below pre-pandemic levels. The monthly median wait time for the procedure in November 2022 was seven weeks, compared to November 2019, when it was nine weeks.
The Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force was established in December 2021 to find short- and long-term solutions to connect people with the care they need faster, the minister noted. Manitoba health-care professionals have been essential in helping to address the pandemic backlog for all procedures and provide faster access to care for Manitobans.
The Manitoba government has committed $110 million this year to address surgical and diagnostic waitlists, to ensure Manitobans get the procedures they need sooner, the minister added.