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Waiting Your Turn: Hospital Waiting Lists in Canada, 19th Edition

Type: Research Studies
Date Published: October 29, 2009
Research Topics:
Health, Hospital Waiting Lists

The Fraser Institute's nineteenth annual waiting list survey found that Canada-wide waiting times for surgical and other therapeutic treatments decreased in 2009. Total waiting time between referral from a general practitioner and treatment, averaged across all 12 specialties and 10 provinces surveyed, fell from 17.3 weeks in 2008 to 16.1 weeks in 2009. This nation wide improvement in access reflects waiting-time decreases in 5 provinces, while concealing increases in waiting times in Alberta, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland & Labrador. The total waiting time in British Columbia was unchanged.

Among the provinces, Ontario achieved the shortest total wait in 2009, 12.5 weeks, with Manitoba (14.3 weeks), and Quebec (16.6 weeks), next shortest. Newfoundland & Labrador exhibited the longest total wait at 27.3 weeks; the next longest waits were found in Prince Edward Island (26.7 weeks) and New Brunswick (25.8 weeks).

The fall in waiting time between 2008 and 2009 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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