‘She’s been waiting so long’: Saskatoon woman concerned for her mother’s health as dozens of surgeries postponed

With surgery wait times being affected by the pandemic, one Saskatoon woman is concerned for the care of not only her mother, but all people receiving medical care in the province.

Maxine Lawrenz’s 87-year-old mother has been awaiting a hip replacement surgery since prior to the pandemic, but has still have not been given a date for that surgery.

While waiting for her surgery, Lawrenz’s mother was scheduled to receive cortisone shots at Royal University Hospital to help alleviate her pain. Those appointments however were also cancelled twice – the most recent being cancelled Thursday.

“She was disappointed. She’s been waiting so long,” Lawrenz said.

“I think she’s just kind of resigned herself to the fact that this is what’s going on.”

Lawrenz says that without these shots her mother is in a lot of pain and is having a hard time walking.

“She’s suffering,” said Lawrenz.

Lawrenz says she understood back in April why her mother’s procedure was cancelled, but now six months later she doesn’t understand why it can’t be done.

“Its not just my mother. My mother’s procedure is not the only one that was cancelled, there’s a lot of people finding themselves in this position.”

Saskatoon’s medical health officer decided last week that Saskatoon was an area of elevated COVID-19 activity due to a larger proportion of cases and no known source for the disease, the Saskatchewan Health Authority said in a statement.

“There was no planned slowdown of surgical procedures for Saskatoon associated with this. However, as a result of that declaration, a geography-based COVID activity screening criteria was activated and has resulted in 97 non-urgent or elective surgeries in Saskatoon being postponed since Friday, October 9. It is important to note that more than 470 surgeries are continuing as scheduled this week in Saskatoon,” the statement said.

Lawrenz is still concerned.

“There needs to be accountability and transparency and in this particular case, given that its been happening for a week or two, I don’t believe that we have had that,” she said.

As of July more than 15,000 people in Saskatoon were awaiting surgery with 72 per cent having waited longer than three months, according to a report from the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative.

Sask. Party leader Scott Moe said Friday that he was concerned about surgical and diagnostic waiting times, but that this isn’t exclusively a Saskatchewan problem.

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