05/30/2013 04:21 EDT | Updated 07/30/2013 05:12 EDT

Saskatchewan health regions cut surgery wait times, but Regina lagging behind

REGINA - The Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region needs more time to meet the Saskatchewan government's goal for surgery wait times.

Health Minister Dustin Duncan says new numbers show 90 per cent of surgeries were completed in six months — that's within the third-year target for the province's surgical initiative.

But Regina Qu'Appelle is lagging behind other health regions at 79 per cent.

The Ministry of Health says Regina has made a concerted effort to overcome a shortage of operating room nurses and to expand capacity using private surgery clinics.

The ultimate goal is that by next April all patients will be able to get surgery within three months.

Regina Qu'Appelle says it's making progress towards that target but will need an extended time line.