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Creating stand-alone surgical clinics

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  • Dec 19, 2016
Creating stand-alone surgical clinics

In Ontario, a major issue facing the health-care system is long wait times for elective surgeries. While the Ontario government has set 182 days as the targeted wait time for cataract, knee replacement, and hip replacement surgeries, the reality is wait times are well beyond that: 206, 233, and 207 days, respectively. Because of limited funding, hospitals have to restrict the number of surgeries they can perform.

Robbie Sparrow, a Student Research Analyst at the Ivey International Centre for Health Innovation and a second-year medical student at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, wrote a blog for the Health Centre about an alternative: Ambulatory Surgery Centres (ASCs), non-hospital health-care facilities that perform surgical procedures.

"ASCs have demonstrated the ability to provide a higher quality of surgery at a lower cost," Sparrow wrote. "When weighing the costs and benefits of ASCs, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that thousands of people in Ontario are debilitated for months to years waiting for hip and knee surgeries. The first priority of any change in the surgical care system should be to alleviate those waits, and ASCs are a proven way of doing so."