Manitoba transports two patients awaiting cardiac surgery out of province

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Two Manitoba patients have been transported out-of-province for cardiac surgery—this comes as the province says some Manitobans who have been waiting for surgeries now need care more urgently.

Manitoba's Shared Health confirmed to CTV News two patients were taken by medevac on Friday to facilities in Ontario and Quebec for cardiac surgery next week.

A spokesperson for Shared Health said the two people were cleared for the trip, and were accompanied by medical staff.

"We remain focused on maintaining the most urgent surgeries, including cardiac, trauma and cancer. There are, however, some patients awaiting surgery whose needs have become more urgent but who are able to travel for a scheduled surgery elsewhere," the spokesperson told CTV News in an email.

This comes as the province reported 41 ICU patients from Manitoba had been taken to hospitals in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta to receive care as of Friday.

READ MORE: Dozens of Manitoba ICU patients receiving care out of province

The spokesperson said the province has reduced surgical activity across the system so it can focus on more urgent and emergent cases.

Shared Health said this created a lengthening waitlist, which means patients who originally could wait for a surgery now require care more urgently.

"These transports speak to the impact COVID has not just on the individuals who transmit the virus, but also those needing other health-care services."