“Today, inaccurate information on the number of cancer surgeries performed in the province was circulated to the public. There was a claim that the government performed 2,175 cancer surgeries last quarter compared to 2,412 in the third quarter (Q3) four years ago.

“That’s not accurate. In Q3 of 2018-19, there were about 5,100 cancer surgeries performed. That is still lower than the number performed in Q3 last year, which was almost 5,600.

“They also claimed that the number of surgeries decreased, even though the province’s population increased.

“Alberta’s population has increased about five per cent between 2019 and 2023, while the average quarterly number of cancer surgeries comparing these two years increased almost 10 per cent. 

“As of March 6 of the 2022-23 fiscal year, AHS had already completed approximately 20,930 cancer surgeries, compared to approximately 18,760 by this time in the 2018-19 fiscal year, pre-pandemic.  

“Alberta’s government knows that patients have been waiting too long for the surgeries they need and there can be serious complications that result from those wait times. That’s why we committed to bringing those wait times to within clinically recommended guidelines, especially for cancer surgeries.

“The Alberta Surgical Initiative is making great progress. Currently, cancer surgeries in Alberta are at nearly 112 per cent of pre-pandemic volumes and AHS is working to improve those numbers. In the 2021-22 fiscal year, cancer surgery numbers went up to about 22,500 from 20,000.

“We are also increasing spending on cancer therapy drugs – this year’s budget includes an increase of almost 10 per cent to support patients dealing with cancer treatments.

“Alberta has the best front-line health care workers in the world, and we are committed to putting the right supports in place for Albertans, so they get the care they need when and where they need it.”