‘I wouldn’t wait’: Manitoban finally getting hip replacement after years of waiting calls for change

Wait times for some surgeries in Manitoba are still well beyond national benchmarks. File

A Winnipegger who says he’s been in pain for over two years is, finally, days away from receiving a new titanium hip, and says he wouldn’t wish his situation on anyone.

Although statistics from the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI), released Tuesday, say the average wait time for a hip replacement is six months in Manitoba, Pasquale Pescatore told 680 CJOB’s Connecting Winnipeg that timeline is optimistic at best.

“I don’t know how they come up with these numbers,” Pescatore said.

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“When I was given my paperwork, it said nine months (before a) consult and then 10-12 months (before) surgery.

“So to go to six months and then have surgery, that’s pretty optimistic.”

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Pescatore says he’s been in the process since March of 2020 and had an initial surgery date scheduled for last October cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Had he known it would be such a lengthy ordeal — one he describes as emotionally, physically and mentally taxing — Pescatore said wouldn’t have waited.

“You know, given the option, I wouldn’t wait — I’d be going private if I knew I had to wait two years.

“I would have taken the $25,000 loan and gone to Calgary. I had the clinic picked out already.”

Although he says he’s used to the pain after two years of playing the waiting game, Pescatore said his issues have been getting worse over the past few months, and he was beginning to get concerned about other problems as a result.

“Picture yourself as a building — the infrastructure is as solid as your structure is … but if it starts leaning on one side, the infrastructure isn’t solid anymore. That’s like our bodies,” he said.

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“My hip is off-kilter, so now my other hip has been compensating for it, and now I’m concerned about getting knee damage.”

The annual data released by CIHI shows the province continues to lag behind in a number of areas, with more than half of hip replacements taking longer than the benchmark of 26 weeks.

Among the issues holding up the queue are staffing concerns that have come about as a result of the pandemic, but the province is slowly but surely getting back to where it should be.

The benchmarks are the time within which it’s medically acceptable for the surgeries to take place, CIHI’s Tracy Johnson told 680 CJOB on Tuesday.

In all provinces, surgeries are not yet back to pre-pandemic levels, but they’re getting close — slowly.

“Now Manitoba’s waits are back around what they were,” Johnson said.

“They’re very similar to what they were pre-pandemic — not quite there, but almost there — trying to get back to what was baseline for Manitoba.”

Click to play video: 'Surgical wait times in Manitoba improved last year, but still behind national benchmarks: report'
Surgical wait times in Manitoba improved last year, but still behind national benchmarks: report



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