Plan to address surgical backlog; produce long-term results
WINNIPEG, MB—June 22, 2022. The Health Sciences Centre Foundation (HSC Foundation) unveiled plans to revitalize and refocus Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg (HSC) as a surgical centre of excellence and innovation. The $100 million, six-year capital plan—developed over the past three years by the HSC Foundation in collaboration with HSC and Shared Health—will have an almost immediate impact on the province’s diagnostic and surgical wait list while enhancing the province’s diagnostic and surgical infrastructure for the long term.
The Province of Manitoba has committed $50 million to the capital plan while the HSC Foundation has launched the “Operation Excellence” campaign to raise the remaining $50 million. The Foundation has raised approximately $25 million to date, including a generous initial donation from Gerry and Barb Price.
“With endless demands for government spending and limited funds available, I think it’s appropriate for individuals to step up and contribute along with the government, to help ease the pain and suffering of those waiting endlessly for tests and surgeries,” said Gerry Price. “When Barb and I heard about Operation Excellence, we were all in. It’s a good plan, and we encourage all Manitobans to contribute to the best of their ability.”
“First and foremost, this innovative and exciting plan will have an almost immediate impact on the troubling surgical and diagnostic waitlist in Manitoba. We estimate that the plan will ultimately increase surgical and diagnostic capacities at HSC by 25% per year over pre-pandemic levels,” said Jonathon Lyon, the HSC Foundation’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We believe that philanthropy has an essential role to play in helping Manitobans face our health care challenges as we emerge from the pandemic. Along with the government and provincial health care leaders, our donors will play a significant role. HSC is Manitoba’s hospital and we must all rally to support it.”
“Our government is committed to working with our partners to provide better health care that focuses on reduced wait times, improved access and more services closer to home,” said Premier Heather Stefanson. “Today’s announcement is a positive step towards our collective goal and we are proud to support the HSC Foundation and this plan because it responds to the current needs of the health system while building additional capacity for the future, all while focussing on better patient outcomes.”
The first phase of the capital plan, which is already underway, features the development of new operating room capacity along with new software systems for more efficient surgical referrals and wait list management. Later phases will include a high-acuity surgical step-down unit, an enhanced pain clinic, an expanded Emergency Room, and a new HSC Outpatient Imaging Facility.
“The COVID-19 pandemic did not create the surgical backlog in Manitoba, but it did exacerbate the situation,” said Dr. Ed Buchel, Surgery Site Director at HSC. “Starting in Phase 1, we will be able to get more patients in sooner, treat them more safely, and discharge them more quickly because we will be using minimally invasive surgical techniques and new high-end equipment. When you perform minimally invasive surgery as opposed to conventional open surgery, people recover faster and with fewer complications. They don’t need to be in hospital for very long.”
The HSC Foundation is looking to Manitobans to support this vital and ambitious initiative.
“So many Manitobans are affected by the current backlogs, and we need to do what we can to strengthen the system for years to come,” added Lyon. “I am confident that Manitobans will step up, because we all understand the importance of supporting health care, and because in Manitoba, we take care of each other.”
Manitobans can learn more and contribute at OperationExcellence.ca.
About the Health Sciences Centre Foundation:
The Health Sciences Centre Foundation rallies individual, corporate, and institutional donors in support of HSC Winnipeg—Manitoba’s hospital. By inspiring Manitobans to donate, the HSC Foundation enhances patient care and accelerates innovation at HSC through the acquisition of state-of-the-art technology, the development of new clinical spaces, and the promotion of ground-breaking research. Through specific, timely, and essential investments, the HSC Foundation helps to deliver tomorrow’s health care, today.