Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Most Patients Get Priority Surgeries like Joints, Cataracts within Target Wait Times

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Most Patients Get Priority Surgeries like Joints, Cataracts within Target Wait Times

Article excerpt

Most get priority treatments within wait times

--

TORONTO - Three out of four Canadians received a hip or knee replacement, cataract surgery, hip fracture repair or cancer radiation therapy within the recommended wait times for those priority procedures, although there was often wide variation from one province to another, researchers say.

A report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), released Tuesday, provides a snapshot of patient wait times for five priority medical procedures in 2016 and compares them to data for the previous four years.

Overall, wait times for hip fracture repair across the country continued to improve, with the percentage of patients receiving surgery within the 48-hour benchmark increasing to 86 per cent in 2016 from 81 per cent in 2012.

Nationally, wait times for joint replacement remained relatively unchanged last year, with 75 per cent of patients receiving hip or knee replacement surgery within the 182-day benchmark. Since 2012, the number of hip replacements rose 22 per cent, while knee replacements went up 18 per cent.

"Essentially, when we look at hips and knees, they haven't changed too much over the five years," said Tracy Johnson, CIHI's director of health systems analysis and emerging issues.

"In the last year or so, there looks like there's a bit of a downward trend, but what we don't know is whether that will continue or it's just a little bit of the fluctuation you see year over year," she said Monday.

However, there was a significant drop in the proportion of Canadians who were able to get cataract surgery within the targeted wait time of 112 days: in 2016, 73 per cent of patients had the sight-restoring operation within that period, down from 83 per cent 2012.

Median wait times increased over the five-year period: in 2012, half of patients got cataract surgery within 47 days; four years later, that median wait time had expanded to 67 days.

"What we can see with cataracts was that the volumes of cataract surgeries done has not increased as much as it has for hips and knees," said Johnson.

"So one of the reasons could be that we're not keeping up with the demand for cataracts," she said, acknowledging that the country's aging population could be a contributing factor. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.