"I am sorry for the suffering this has caused the patients," says Operations Manager Jenny Wingerstrand in a press release.

The delayed surgeries occurred from 2020 until this year. There are nine children between the ages of 11 and 15 and eleven adults aged 45–85. The children mainly suffered from scoliosis and the adults mainly from narrowing of the spinal canal.

Prolonged suffering

Patients' suffering in the form of pain has been prolonged. In some cases, the disease has even worsened, according to the hospital.

"We have had to prioritise the most urgent and necessary procedures, which has led to longer waiting times for spine surgery for other patients," says Jenny Wingerstrand.

Shortage of nurses

The delays are due to the shortage of nurse anesthetists and operating theatre nurses, according to Anders Rehn, head of intensive and perioperative care. He says that recruitment is underway and that the hospital has reviewed its way of working.

"In order to shorten waiting times for this type of spine surgery, we need operating theatre and anesthesia nurses with special skills that are not easy to find. Unfortunately, the waiting times remain long," Rehn said in the press release.