11/20/2012 11:11 EST | Updated 01/20/2013 05:12 EST

Regina health region turns to private clinics to further boost surgery numbers

REGINA - One of Saskatchewan's biggest health regions is hoping third-party providers can help cut the wait time for surgery.

The Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region says it has signed contracts with two surgical providers so people can have operations more quickly.

The region says the two private facilities are expected to do as many as 2,500 procedures under the contracts.

Officials say the cost for each surgery is less than what it would be if done in a health region hospital.

The province has set a goal to ensure no one in Saskatchewan has to wait more than three months for surgery by March 2014.

But there has been a bottleneck in Regina and the Saskatoon Health Region, both of which already use private facilities for some day surgeries.