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Canada

Alberta eyes more operating rooms, contracts with private clinics for surgeries

CALGARY — Alberta’s health minister says he aims to make the province a national leader on meeting wait-time targets by building more operating rooms and using more private clinics.

Tyler Shandro says the goal is to have 80,000 more surgeries done over the next 3 1/2 years.

He says a funding model is still being developed and will take its cue from a third-party review on health-care delivery that is to be delivered to the government before the end of the month.

Shandro says there are 42 clinics in Alberta handling 15 per cent of all surgeries, including publicly paid-for procedures such as hip and knee replacements and cataract removals.

He says those clinics are underutilized and they will be used to the maximum to free up hospital operating rooms for more complex operations.

He says the province is also looking at opening more operating rooms.

He says Alberta wants to set the bar in Canada for meeting surgery wait-time targets by 2023.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 10, 2019.

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