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Wait Time Strategy Expands

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Wait Time Strategy Expands

McGuinty Government Sets Most Aggressive General Surgery Targets In Canada

Ministry of Health

Ontario is setting the most aggressive wait time targets for general surgeries in Canada as part of an expansion of its successful Wait Time Strategy.

General surgery targets are being set for procedures such as gall bladder removal, hernia repairs, anorectal and some intestinal surgeries. Targets are also being set for orthopaedic and ophthalmic surgeries.

Targets for each surgery are set in four categories, ranging from urgent to elective surgery. Where urgent surgery is required, targets are less than 24 hours for general and ophthalmic surgeries and one week for orthopaedic surgery. For all three surgery groups, cases of mild or occasional symptoms and elective surgeries, targets range from 12 to 26 weeks.

Current wait times are below the provincial target in all three areas. Ontario is also investing $11.64 million in funding for 8,240 additional general surgery procedures to help ensure that these times remain on target.

Wait times are available by hospital at www.ontariowaittimes.com.

Quick Facts

  • Wait time is defined as the time between when the surgery is ordered and when it is performed.
  • Ontario’s Wait Time Strategy has invested $1.1B to deliver 1.69M procedures since 2005.
  • As per September 2008 data, wait times in the five key areas have been reduced :
  • Cataract surgery by 62.1 per cent,
  • Hip and Knee replacements by 48.7 per cent and 53.4 per cent respectively,
  • Cancer surgery by 9.9 per cent
  • Angiography by 53.6 per cent,
  • Angioplasty by 50 per cent,
  • MRI and CT scans by 16.7 and 49.4 per cent respectively.

Additional Resources


“Our Wait Time Strategy is working – more Ontarians are getting the care they need sooner. That’s why we’re expanding our strategy so that wait times continue to decline.”

David Caplan

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Ontario’s health care providers have risen to the wait time challenge over the past three years and I am confident we will see the same good results with general surgery.”

Dr. Alan Hudson

Provincial Lead – Wait Time Strategy



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