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Waiting Your Turn: Hospital Waiting Lists in Canada, 18th Edition

Type: Research Studies
Date Published: October 7, 2008
Research Topics:
Hospital Waiting Lists

The Fraser Institute's eighteenth annual waiting list survey found that Canada-wide waiting times for surgical and other therapeutic treatments decreased in 2008. Total waiting time between referral from a general practitioner and treatment, averaged across all 12 specialties and 10 provinces surveyed, fell from 18.3 weeks in 2007 to 17.3 weeks in 2008. This nationwide improvement in access reflects waiting-time decreases in 7 provinces, while concealing increases in waiting times in Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland & Labrador.

Among the provinces, Ontario achieved the shortest total wait in 2008, 13.3 weeks, with British Columbia (17.0 weeks), and Manitoba (17.2 weeks), next shortest. Saskatchewan exhibited the longest total wait at 28.8 weeks; the next longest waits were found in Nova Scotia (27.6 weeks) and Newfoundland & Labrador (24.4 weeks).

The fall in waiting time between 2007 and 2008 results from a decrease both in the first wait-the wait between visiting a general practitioner and attending a consultation with a specialist-and in the second wait-from the time that a specialist decides that treatment is required to treatment.

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