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Sunday, August 1, 2021
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Major reduction in surgical wait times big focus for Alberta government

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CALGARY, AB – A major push is underway to seriously cut surgical wait times across Alberta.

The UCP government promised a while back that Albertans should be able to get surgeries within an acceptable period of time.

The COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on those plans, but Health Minister Tyler Shandro says they’re now aggressively forging ahead.

“Going forward, we’re going to eliminate the backlog this year and press on toward the goal of the Alberta Surgical Initiative – to provide all scheduled surgeries within clinically acceptable times by 2023,” says Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

Shandro says starting April 1st, Alberta’s health care system will provide more than 55,000 additional surgeries which is on top of the average of 290,000 a year. This will eliminate the pandemic backlog of postponed surgeries, and take a first step toward the government’s goal of treating every patient within a clinically acceptable time.

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This is being made possible with chartered surgical facilities working under contract with AHS.

Minister Shandro said Friday that chartered surgical facilities began ramping up their surgical activity in December 2020, especially cataract surgeries that have the largest wait-lists. As new and existing chartered surgical facilities begin working under contract with AHS this spring and throughout the year, they will complete about 90,000 surgeries each year by 2023, up from the more than 40,000 surgeries they currently perform in a year.

AHS will issue requests for proposals for additional capacity for ophthalmology and orthopedic surgical services in March and May respectively.

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of New Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

On a personal note, Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and funeral assistant since 2016.

Pat is engaged to Tarah and he has two kids and two step-children.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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