April 2018 — Fewer Canadians received surgery for cataracts and hip and knee replacements within the recommended wait times last year compared with 3 years ago, CIHI analysis shows. However, wait times for more urgent procedures such as radiation therapy and hip fracture repair remained stable over this same time period.
“We know Canadians are concerned about wait times — they want access to surgeries and diagnostics as quickly as possible,” said Kathleen Morris, CIHI’s vice-president of Research and Analysis. “Wait times are an ongoing challenge for health systems, and the ability to deliver timely care is influenced by several factors.”
2 important factors are the need for surgery and the number of surgeries performed. Canada’s aging population may be influencing the rising need for cataract and joint surgeries; increases in disease incidence and prevalence may also have an effect. Improvements in surgical practice, procedures and devices also expand the number of people eligible for surgery. The number of procedures performed may be affected by the number of surgeons, incentive systems and available resources like operating room time and post-operative beds.
To learn more, visit the Canadian Institute for Health Information