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Total knee replacement surgeries now available in Waterville

All New Brunswickers deserve accessible and quality health care, and this initiative is one example of how Horizon is committed to providing that every day.

HORIZON – The surgical team at Horizon’s Upper River Valley Hospital (URVH) in Waterville is improving access for orthopedic surgery patients who have been waiting for new knees.

Starting this week, total knee replacement surgeries will now be performed at URVH, many of which will be day surgeries.

Once fully operational, up to eight knee surgeries per week could be completed by staff in Waterville. This program is estimated to serve an additional 360 knee replacement patients in one year, as well as reduce wait times and improve the patient experience.

“This is a great initiative and another example of the efforts health authorities are making to improve access to surgery for New Brunswickers,” said Hon. Bruce Fitch, Minister of Health. “Improving access to surgery is a key part of the provincial health plan, Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action, which aims to develop an integrated health system, ensuring New Brunswickers have access to timelier and improved care.”

“We are pleased to increase access to knee surgeries in the Upper River Valley area, thanks to the collaboration between our surgeons and staff in Waterville and Fredericton hospitals,” said Margaret Melanson, Horizon’s interim president and CEO. “We look forward to being a part of patients’ life-changing moments, as well as showing them how we care before and after surgery as they get back to their day-to-day activities with our rehabilitation services.”

“The knee arthroplasty project aligns with the overall direction of our facility in serving the medical needs of New Brunswickers, and providing comprehensive state of the art elective care,” said Dr. Gurpreet Singh Ranger, Horizon’s chief of staff for the Upper River Valley area. “We are very fortunate at URVH to have physicians and staff that are willing, capable, and adaptable enough to implement the program. We thank all those who have been involved for stepping up to meet the challenge.”

Approximately 328 patients are currently waiting for knee surgery in the Upper River Valley and Fredericton area.

In addition to instructions and advice patients will receive from their surgical team to prepare for their surgery and recovery, information is also available online at HorizonNB.ca.

Horizon is investing approximately $350,000 in equipment for this initiative and $1.5 million annually in additional human resources.

Improving the overall patient experience is a key priority of Horizon’s plan to ensure all New Brunswickers receive the quality care they need. This plan consists of three other priorities, including access to health care, specifically emergency care, surgical services, and addiction and mental health services; the retention and recruitment of physicians, nurses and staff; and improving patient flow at our health care facilities. Further details about Horizon’s four priority areas are available at HorizonNB.ca.

This initiative also supports the Government of New Brunswick’s provincial health plan, Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action, specifically, the action area of creating improved access to surgery.

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