US hospital may take as many as 300 spine patients off surgery waiting list in Canada


Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, N.D., plans to admit as many as 300 spine patients who have been waiting a year or more for surgery at Manitoba Shared Health in Canada, CBC News reported Jan. 19.

Shared Health has identified 150-300 spine patients who are healthy enough to travel to Fargo. The Manitoba province may begin sending total joint surgery patients to Fargo as well.

"They're not super-easy cases that we can do as outpatients," Ed Buchel, provincial surgery lead for Manitoba Shared Health, told CBC News. "They're not our super-difficult cases or our very acute cases. They're in the middle, and that's the group that's waiting the longest."

The spine surgery delays are part of a larger backlog of 150,000 cases in the Manitoba province amid COVID-19 case surges. 

Brittany Sachdeva, vice president operations at Sanford Health Fargo, said in a statement emailed to Becker's that the health system is working with Manitolba to bring on patients at a "mutually agreed upon time" but did not provide a timeline. 

"Discussions have been occurring for some time and while we do not have a signed agreement at this point, we are looking forward to finalizing it in the near future," she said.

Note: This article was updated Jan.19 to include a statement from Sanford Health.

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