Longwoods Blog

Waiting for treatment has become a defining characteristic of Canadian health care. In order to document the lengthy queues for visits to specialists and for diagnostic and surgical procedures in the country, the Fraser Insti-tute has—for over two decades—surveyed specialist physicians across 12 specialties and 10 provinces.

This edition of Waiting Your Turn indicates that, overall, waiting times for medically necessary treatment have not improved since last year. Specialist physicians surveyed report a median waiting time of 18.3 weeks between referral from a general practitioner and receipt of treatment—slightly longer than the 18.2 week wait reported in 2014. This year’s wait time is 97% longer than in 1993 when it was just 9.3 weeks.

There is a great deal of variation in the total waiting time faced by patients across the provinces. Saskatchewan re-ports the shortest total wait (13.6 weeks), while Prince Edward Island reports the longest (43.1 weeks). Results for the latter province should be interpreted with caution since data is not available for certain specialties because of either a lack of response or an absence of doctors practising some specialties.

There is also a great deal of variation among specialties. Patients wait longest between a GP referral and orthopae-dic surgery (35.7 weeks), while those waiting for radiation oncology begin treatment in 4.1 weeks.

See more at: http://www.fraserinstitute.org/studies/waiting-your-turn-wait-times-for-health-care-in-canada-2015-report#sthash.VxT6BuDF.dpuf

Download the full PDF here.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 at 10:12 am and is filed under Publisher's Page.