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Study finds lower health-care costs among Ontario patients who had female surgeons

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An Ontario-based study published today suggests patients treated by female surgeons incur lower health-care costs than those treated by male surgeons.

It involved more than one million adult patients who had 25 common elective and emergency surgeries between 2007 and 2019.

Researchers found that costs for patients whose health data was examined at one month, three months and one year following surgery were about 10 per cent lower if they had a female surgeon.

Dr. Angela Jerath, one of the study authors and a professor at the University of Toronto, says that represents large savings for the health-care system but more research is needed to better understand the factors behind the cost difference.

Lead author Dr. Christopher Wallis, from the same university, says improving recruitment and retention of female surgeons by creating more inclusive working environments could have a positive effect on patients' health.

The data was analyzed by the research institute ICES, and the study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Surgery.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2023.

Canadian Press health coverage receives support through a partnership with the Canadian Medical Association. CP is solely responsible for this content. 

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