WAIT TIMES FOR NECESSARY SURGERY INCREASING IN CANADA: REPORT

Oct 28, 2013

By Scott Walker

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A new report from a controversial think tank says wait times for medically-necessary medical procedures and tests are getting worse in Canada.

The Fraser Institute says the wait times are getting worse, not because of insufficient funding, but because of poor policy.

The Fraser report is called Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada. It claims the time between being referred by a family doctor and being seen by a specialist has increased from 3.7 weeks to 8.6 weeks in the past twenty years.

Those requiring orthopaedic surgery had to wait nine months for treatment.

The report says one in 34 Canadians may be in pain, off work, or suffering from depression while they wait for their surgery.

Study co-author Nadeem Esmail says wait times can be considerably reduced without higher spending or abandoning universality but by examining successful universal health care systems such as Australia or Switzerland.

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