Canada lags in waiting times

A new study indicates that Canada is falling behind other leading Commonwealth countries in addressing waiting times for healthcare despite throwing gobs of money at the problem. The study compared waiting-time reduction strategies in five Commonwealth nations: Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand and Wales. The research indicated that England has done the best job of reducing waiting times. It set a maximum waiting time of 18 weeks - from referral from a general practitioner, through to treatment for a wide range of surgical procedures. In Canada the feds and the provinces have a 5.5-billion agreement vowing "to achieve meaningful reductions in wait times" in five priority areas - joint replacement, cardiac care, cancer, cataracts and diagnostic imaging. But there are no firm targets and most provinces do not even agree on the definition of a waiting time.

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