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Press Releases
May 30, 2024

Press release: Headwaters cuts down surgical wait times through innovation funding

Photo caption - Headwaters surgical services additional full day team (L to R): Karen (RN), Sheila (RN), Stephanie (Operating Room Technician), Olivia (RN), Dr. Gandhi  

For immediate release - Orangeville, Ont. (May 30, 2024) – Headwaters Health Care Centre recently reduced surgical wait times below the provincial benchmark. This was made possible through surgical strategies and pandemic recovery funding from the provincial Surgical/Diagnostic Imaging Efficiency and Innovation Fund (SDEI). As a result, more Headwaters patients with life-threatening illnesses were getting surgeries faster.

Overall, there are 60% fewer patients on Headwaters’ surgical wait list. In March 2024, 20% of appointment requests were over the provincial target, compared to 64% in September 2022, right after the height of the pandemic when elective surgeries were paused across the province.

Headwaters endeavours to treat all patients as quickly as possible and follows the provincial Wait Times Information System to guide decision making that prioritizes patient’s health conditions. A wait list is commonly used in Ontario hospitals to help prioritize patient care by urgent need, and the province sets benchmarks for when patients need to be seen by a surgeon.

More day surgery appointments

Since January 2024, Headwaters has opened an additional full day of surgery each week, thanks to surgical and diagnostic imaging innovation funding. As a result, Headwaters patients didn’t have to wait as long for elective surgeries, or non-life-threatening surgeries.  

One of the major surgeries within this full day includes kidney stone surgery. This requires the extended teamwork of an allied health team, including anesthesiologists, operation room nurses, post-anesthesia care unit nurses for recovery after surgery and an x-ray technologist. Having more surgical capacity means that the whole health team is also available during the day surgery appointment, and the patient can have a more comfortable experience being discharged the same day, without needing to wait overnight to see another specialist.

On average, there were 6 to 10 more patients with kidney stones being treated each week with this additional full day of surgery.

Empowered teams

Due to the provincial Surgical Pathway Training Fund, Headwaters offered current nurses surgical nurse training at no additional cost to staff. This education is equivalent to surgical college requirements.

Headwaters was also able to fast-track nurses’ surgical training by 12 months through on-the-job training and within their existing workplace. Due to Headwaters’ investment in surgical nursing career growth, Headwaters’ surgical services team expanded more surgical appointments to patients, operating at full capacity. The Surgical Pathways Training Fund also helps Headwaters to retain highly qualified staff and advance their education and training to support even more of our patients.


“Our government is taking action to reduce wait times for surgeries and procedures while increasing capacity to make it faster and easier to access care. Our investment through the Surgical/Diagnostic Imaging Efficiency and Innovation Fund is helping Headwaters significantly increase the number of surgeries performed each week, while reducing wait times, improving the quality of life of more Dufferin-Caledon families, so they can get back to the activities that matter most.”

--Sylvia Jones, MPP Dufferin-Caledon 

“There are a lot of positive clinical outcomes with the additional full day of surgery. Many of these patients don’t have to stay overnight and receive complete care from their health care team before going home. Our volumes remain quite high, and we’ve seen that patients in this community need streamlined, efficient care.” 
--Dr. Shreyas Gandhi, Vice President, General Medical Staff, Urologist
“We know that waiting for surgery is hard. That’s why we’re proud of Headwaters’ achievement to provide excellent care, close to home, through innovative surgical strategies.”
--Annette Jones, Vice President, Health Integration, Patient Experience and CNE