05/15/2015 10:34 EDT | Updated 05/15/2016 01:12 EDT

Health region says Regina hospital's short-stay unit reduces surgery backlog

REGINA - Health officials say a surgical short-stay unit at a Regina hospital has done its job in reducing a backlog.The eight-bed unit at Pasqua hospital was created in May 2013 to relieve pressure on a general surgery unit that includes urologic and orthopedic cases.The short-stay unit took easier patients who were staying less than 72 hours, and it will be moving back to the general surgery unit at the end of next month.The Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region says 6,000 patients were waiting longer than three months for surgery in 2010, and as of March 31, that number has dropped to just 182.Sandy Euteneier, executive director of surgical care services, says they will continue to monitor the wait list and demand for surgeries, in case the beds are needed again.The move impacts 18 full- and part-time staff, including unit clerks, unit support workers and nursing staff.Euteneier says they're trying to redistribute staff to other areas and the goal is to not lay anyone, but it hasn't been ruled out.For now, she says they've reduced the backlog and they're sitting with empty surgical beds."There are budget implications," said Euteneier. "We do have to deliver care in the most efficient way. And if we're doing less procedures it really makes no sense to have a unit sitting with only a couple patients on there."(CJME)