Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation

June 28, 2005 09:00 ET

Orthopaedic charity urges Smitherman to reconsider OJRR decision

Attention: Health/Medical Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 28, 2005) - The Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation urges the Government of Ontario to reconsider its decision to dismantle the Ontario Joint Replacement Registry (OJRR).

"The Foundation believes that Canadians need and deserve access to quality orthopaedic care, delivered in a timely manner," says Doug Thomson, CEO of the Foundation, "The OJRR is one of the few cooperative initiatives among patients, physicians and the MOHLTC to improve access to care and, just as importantly, to measure patient outcomes."

By working in partnership with patients, orthopaedic surgeons, hospitals and the Ontario Ministry of Health Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), the Ontario Joint Replacement Registry can improve patient access, improve the quality of joint replacement surgery and reduce revision rates.

By tracking the more than 23,000 total hip and knee replacements performed in Ontario each year, the OJRR believes that surgeons will be able to reduce the need for revision surgery through monitoring the effectiveness of techniques and technology used in joint replacements. The data collection also allows surgeons to work with the MOHLTC to manage wait lists in a more acceptable manner for patients.

"With the federal government having recently committed to shorten wait lists, now is not the time to dismantle the programs that support that aim", says Mr. Thomson.

According to the OJRR, total hip and knee replacements are among the most cost-effective of both medical and surgical interventions. Currently, the OJRR enjoys a compliance rate of 80% - unheard of in a voluntary endeavour. If the OJRR is dismantled, there will be an abrupt end to the monitoring and analysis that will lead to reduced revision rates and wide implementation of best practices in Ontario. Arthroscopic joint surgery and total joint replacement of hips and knees are the most commonly performed orthopaedic procedures in Canada and, as a result, are associated with some of the lengthiest waiting times.

While the Canadian Joint Replacement Registry collects almost the same information and works closely with the OJRR, the Foundation believes that changes need to be made at the CJRR to ensure quality data that is timely and complete. These changes should be implemented before the OJRR is dismantled so that confidence is instilled in patients and surgeons.

Founded in 1965, the Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation is a mid-sized registered Canadian charity powered by a professional staff and network of over 300 volunteers. The Foundation is Canada's only charitable organization dedicated solely to helping people maintain and restore their bone and joint - or orthopaedic - health. The Foundation is dedicated to raising funds through public donations and allocating those funds to initiatives that will contribute to achieving its Mission: to achieve excellence in bone and joint health, mobility and function for all Canadians through the advancement of research, education and delivery of care.

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/For further information: Doug Thomson
CEO and President
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Tel: 416-410-2341 or 1-800-461-3639 ext. 5
Direct tel: 519-925-9433
Fax: 416-352-5078
Email: doug@canorth.org
Website: www.canorth.org/ IN: HEALTH

Contact Information

  • Doug Thomson, CEO and President, Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
    Primary Phone: 416-410-2341 ext. 5
    Secondary Phone: 519-925-9433
    Toll-Free: 800-461-3639
    E-mail: doug@canorth.org