Report shows long wait times for children needing spinal surgery


A new report on long wait times for children needing care highlights delays in spinal surgery for scoliosis.
The report by the Conference Board of Canada says four in 10 kids have surgery beyond the recommended six-month wait time for the procedure that involves fusing the curved part of the spine with two titanium rods to prevent it from curving further.
The report estimates 13 per cent of the surgeries in Alberta are done beyond that time frame, while the number jumps to 68 per cent in Nova Scotia, though data from all jurisdictions is limited.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, or A-I-S, is the most prevalent form of the condition, and it affects an estimated two per cent of teens, mostly girls.
The report, commissioned by Children's Healthcare Canada, says nearly 28-hundred kids in Canada are currently waiting for spinal surgery and funding should be increased to hire more pediatric orthopedic surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists.
Children's Healthcare Canada C-E-O Emily Gruenwoldt says there's a lack of awareness about how the health-care system is failing children and youth and how they're emotionally and physically affected when surgeries are delayed.