Access to surgery in New Brunswick; The New Brunswick Health Council highlights key observations on the patient’s journey to health care

5 July 2023


The New Brunswick Health Council (NBHC) has a mandate to report publicly on the performance of the health system. As part of our public reporting obligations, the NBHC is producing materials with contextual information regarding the Action Areas under the Provincial Health Plan, “Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action.”

This release’s area of focus is Access to surgery. Access to surgery relates to how long citizens wait for a surgical procedure.

“Since April 2022, an increase in the number of surgeries being performed can be noticed in New Brunswick, particularly among hip and knee replacement surgeries,” explains Stéphane Robichaud, CEO of the New Brunswick Health Council. “ For example, from January to March 2023 a total of 415 hip surgeries were completed, an increase from the 180 hip surgeries completed in January to March 2022”.

Based on quarterly data retrieved from the Surgical Access Registry between January to March 2023, the NBHC has observed the following:

  • Reported wait times for surgeries only capture part of a patient’s journey to receiving the health care they need.
  • Wait times for surgeries vary depending on where the surgery is being performed.
  • There has been an increase in the number of orthopedic surgeries being performed in the last 12 months. 
  • Based on the most recent data (Jan – March 2023), 34% of hip replacement surgeries and 26% of knee replacement surgeries were completed within the national benchmarks of 182 days (6 months)

“As the province moves towards meeting the identified target to eliminate the number of hip and knee surgeries that have been waiting longer than a year by March 2024, we hope to see improvements in meeting the nationally recommended benchmark of 182 days, or 6 months, ”adds Robichaud.

For more details, consult the NBHC webpage on Access to Surgery: Access to Surgery | New Brunswick Health Council

For interview requests with the New Brunswick Health Council, please contact: 

Nay OLeary
Executive Director, Citizen Engagement 
Phone: 506-869-6714
Email: Nay.O’