The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health has some lofty surgery goals for the Swift Current hospital this year.

They hope that the Cypress Regional Hospital will be able to perform 2,000 surgeries to deal with a backlog due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That's a steep climb from the 1,536 carried out from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, which is the ministry's fiscal year. 

"I think it's an achievable target," Everett Hindley, the minister of mental health and addictions, seniors, and rural and remote health, said. "Healthcare providers have really gone above and beyond in the last couple of years... But now are also wanting to make sure that they're doing what they're trained to do and in this case, it means providing surgeries and providing relief to patients." 

The provincial government has spent around $20,000 on improvements for the day surgery area inside southwestern Saskatchewan's largest hospital. The unit has been renovated and new stretchers were purchased. They've also earmarked $34,800 to purchase new specialized equipment for ophthalmologic procedures and surgeries.

"Just to help better transition things when it comes to patients having their surgeries," he said. "Just making sure that happens as effectively as possible and making sure that we're maximizing what it is that we have here for the ability to do surgeries here in Swift Current."

Swift Current could also become more of a hub for a broader scope of surgeries according to Hindley.

"We're looking at some expansions here," the Swift Current MLA said. "In Saskatoon, we've re-opened operating rooms and expanded them. In places like Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, and Humboldt there have also been some upgrades to improve patient flow."   

Three hundred and ten surgeries have been performed in Swift Current from April 1 to June 30 this year.