Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is another step closer to offering a full cardiovascular program. In January, Dr. Elrasheed Osman joined our team of talented physicians. He is the second vascular surgeon at our Hospital, and key to our commitment to deliver comprehensive cardiovascular care.
The addition of Dr. Osman and his knowledge and experience improves our capacity to provide much needed vascular services, closer to home, for patients across Northwestern Ontario. Dr. Osman joins our other vascular surgeon, Dr. Mary MacDonald, who joined our team in October of 2016.
With two highly skilled vascular surgeons, we can provide life-and-limb saving care in a much more timely fashion. This means patients across Northwestern Ontario will have shorter wait times for treatments, closer to home. Previously, patients would have had to travel to Southern Ontario, resulting in heightened levels of stress and additional financial burdens.
For critical and emergency patients in particular, local access to vascular surgery can make all the difference in terms of saving lives and limbs, which is particularly important for our patients and families since amputations occur more frequently in Northwestern Ontario than the rest of the province. With two surgeons now in place, we hope to improve vascular health in the Northwest by making arterial bypass surgery more accessible.
Last year, Dr. MacDonald dealt with approximately 245 vascular cases. With the arrival of Dr. Osman, we can double the number of patients who will benefit from their services. By the end of the year, we will welcome a third surgeon to our team, enabling us to handle over 600 vascular procedures annually.