By the numbers: Hospital wait times

TORONTO – The wait list in Canada for a number of procedures and treatment is long and provinces are struggling in their efforts to lessen the backup, a lengthy report suggests.

For “priority” treatments – from hip replacements, knee replacements, hip fractures, cataracts, bypass surgeries and CT scans – patients have taken a number and are waiting in line, according to data released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

About eight in 10 Canadians are still able to access treatments within benchmarks – or set appropriate wait times – agreed upon by the provinces, which means that about 20 per cent are waiting longer than they should.

The findings point to the good, the bad and the incessantly busy in hospitals across Canada:

449: The number of days some Manitoba patients waited for a hip replacement – more than double the national benchmark wait time of 182 days.

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617: The number of days – that’s more than a year and a half – some people in Nova Scotia trudged along on a bad knee waiting for a replacement while the national benchmark is set at 182 days.

48: Time, in hours, Canadians should be waiting for treatment after they fracture a hip. But in Ontario, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia, however, patients had to wait another 24 hours or so in pain.

112: The standard number of days Canadians should wait for cataract surgery from booking the appointment to the day of their procedure. There seems to be some backup in Alberta, though, where residents waited 275 days – or six months longer – than the benchmark. Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan also ranked poorly in this category, with patients who need eye treatment waiting a good four months longer than the set 112 days.

2: The shortest amount of time, in weeks, of how long patients wait for bypass surgery. The longest wait should be 6.5 months. All provinces were far below the half a year wait time in this category.

28: Time, in days, most Canadians wait to receive radiation treatment for cancer.

4,300: Number of people waiting for an organ transplant – 70 per cent need a kidney. In some provinces, the wait time is over five years.

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1,248: Number of people who received kidney transplants out of 3,362 people waiting. About 3,000 people die of kidney failure each year.

– Data compiled by the Canadian Institute for Health Information and the Canadian Organ Replacement Register

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