Mcguinty Government First To Give Ontarians Access To Current Wait Times Information
Website A Major Step Toward Improving Health Care In Ontario
TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today launched a website that -- for the first time -- allows Ontarians to get the information they need on wait times for key surgical procedures at local hospitals, and to see whether a procedure is available sooner at other hospitals.
"This is the first time current wait times information has ever been collected in Ontario," said Premier McGuinty. "This website will empower Ontarians to see just how much progress is being made when it comes to reducing wait times across our province. This is unprecedented transparency, accountability and care."
By visiting www.health.gov.on.ca and clicking on the Wait Times link, Ontarians can see how long patients are waiting for treatment in the five key services that are part of the government's Wait Time Strategy: cataract surgery, cancer surgery, hip and knee replacements, select cardiac procedures and MRI and CT scans.
Wait times are categorized on the website by procedure, hospital and Local Health Integration Network -- beginning with data as of July 2005. This information will be updated regularly. By comparing wait times across the province, Ontarians can discuss with their doctor the possibility of being referred to a hospital with a shorter wait time. The new wait times website is the first step in developing even more comprehensive, precise and timely information on wait times across Ontario.
The wait times website is part of the government's Wait Time Strategy, which includes reducing wait times for key medical procedures by providing:
- Eight per cent more CT scans
- 11 per cent more cancer surgeries
- 16 per cent more cataract surgeries
- 17 per cent more cardiac procedures
- 28 per cent more hip and knee replacements
- 42 per cent more MRI scans.
"In only one year, Ontario has gone from having very little knowledge about wait times for most key health care services to now providing public access to current wait time data from across the province," said Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman. "The information on the wait times website allows the people of Ontario to track the progress the government is making in delivering on one of the key health care commitments."
"This website is an important step in measuring wait times and identifying opportunities for improving access to health care services across the province," said Dr. Alan Hudson, Lead of Ontario's Wait Time Strategy. "This is part of a larger strategy to improve access to key health services across Ontario and reduce wait times."
"It's time to accelerate our progress when it comes to reducing wait times in Ontario," said Premier McGuinty. "The wait times website is a tremendous step forward -- a step toward better access to better care for Ontarians and a quality of life that is truly second to none."
This initiative is part of the McGuinty government's plan to build a health care system that delivers on three priorities -- keeping Ontarians healthy, reducing wait times and providing better access to doctors and nurses.