The province is increasing the surgical capacity for spinal patients by 50 percent starting May 1 in Manitoba. 

Health, Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Uzoma Asagwara announced Monday that a new provincial spine program is being established to expedite wait times for those needing spinal surgery. 

“Manitobans should not have to suffer from debilitating spinal pain. It can completely disrupt every aspect of a person’s life,” said Asagwara. “The creation of a new provincial spine program will reduce wait times for patients awaiting consultation and those needing surgery, ensuring Manitobans receive treatment more quickly so they can resume their lives.”

Three spinal surgeons have been recruited to help with this new program, two in Winnipeg and one in Brandon. 

"I am pleased this progress in spine care will mean better surgical outcomes for Manitobans," said Jonathon Lyon, president and CEO of the Health Sciences Centre Foundation. "It’s notable that new surgeons have been attracted here by the steps we are taking through Operation Excellence and in partnership with all stakeholders. Surgeons and other health care professionals want to go where they can do their best work.”

More than $12 million is being invested in the program, with all sites, including Concordia Hospital, Brandon Regional Health Centre and Health Sciences Centre, also benefiting from new state-of-the-art, minimally invasive surgical equipment.