Canada’s Pediatric Spinal Surgery Delays Cost Healthcare $44.6M

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Alarmingly, nearly forty percent of pediatric patients in Canada are confronted with perilous delays in spinal surgery beyond the clinically recommended timeframe, according to a recent study.

Revealed on Monday, this research details that a postponement in pediatric spinal surgeries has a significant fiscal toll on the Canadian healthcare system, costing upwards of $44.6 million.

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“Clinically recommended wait times for pediatric spinal surgery are significantly surpassed in numerous Canadian provinces, inflicting physical Pain and emotional distress on our young patients,” the report identifies.

It sheds light on the grave issue of extensive pediatric surgery wait times, exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic, using the spinal condition known as scoliosis as a case in point. Scoliosis represents one’s spine curving sideways, typically resembling the letters “S” or “C”. While moderate cases can be rectified with braces and exercises, severe forms can demand surgical intervention, such as spine fusion or implants.

Additionally, the report reveals that a staggering 2,778 children are presently awaiting scoliosis surgery in Canada, significantly more than the recommended six-month timeframe. The delays in surgeries, as stressed by the report, escalate costs due to complications, disease progression, increased complexity of procedures, extended hospital stays, readmissions, and lengthened rehabilitation periods.

Data indicates that the situation is gravest in Nova Scotia wherein 68 percent of pediatric patients are only receiving their spinal surgeries after the recommended six months. Following Nova Scotia are British Columbia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Alberta, with respective percentages of delayed pediatric surgeries exceeding clinical recommendations being 45, 44, 37, 29, and 13.

“Prolonged wait times can result in escalated spinal curvature, complications, and demands for more intricate surgeries,” the report uncovers, “leading to a potential health-care cost of $44.6 million and an economic toll of $1.4 million in lost caregiver productivity.”

Resolving this issue is a multifaceted affair demanding strategic investments in pediatric healthcare, increased surgical capacities, prioritization of postponed surgeries during the pandemic, and a centralized referral system to streamline doctors and patients.

Despite ongoing efforts to address these concerns, waitlists and surgery backlogs persist, with the pandemic severely exacerbating the situation. Ontario alone reported 17,091 children on surgical waitlists in 2022, marking a 26 percent increase over the pandemic period.

As we close this sobering examination of the Canadian healthcare system, we transition to a topic that might provide a diversion from such challenging realities. We draw your attention to what has become a popular online activity in Canada – the world of online casinos. We’ve curated a list of the top online casinos of the month, perfect for those searching for a break. Just as we advocate for transparency and quality in our news, we urge responsible enjoyment in online gaming.