THE CARP 5 – Drastically Cut Wait Times

Supporting Ontario’s public universal health care system should not mean having to passively accept long wait times for service. Canada spends near the top of OECD countries on health care as a percentage of GDP, yet our performance ranks near the bottom. If other publicly-funded health care systems can do better, why can’t we?

It’s time to say – loudly, and with our votes – we’ve waited long enough.

We’ve waited long enough in Emergency Rooms.

  • In Ontario, patients admitted through the ER wait over 20 hours before being moved out of ER.
  • In some hospitals, that number is as high as 50 hours.
  • We’re waiting a long time for an initial assessment, too – an average of 1.5 hours, but as high as four hours in Windsor, just to be seen by an ER doctor.

We’ve waited long enough to see a specialist.

  • In Ontario, patients wait an average of 8.2 week to see a specialist, after being referred by a family doctor, and then another 10.3 weeks for treatment. That’s more than a third of a year from the initial family doctor visit. In some categories with high relevance to older Canadians, like orthopedic surgery, the time lapse can be twice as long.

We’ve waited long enough to access diagnostics.

  • In Ontario, the average wait time is six weeks for an MRI scan and a month for CT-scan.

CARP demands:

  • Specific commitments to improving the performance numbers, with particular attention to increasing the capacity for diagnostic testing. We want dates and measurable goals to be achieved — details, not vague promises.
  • Specific commitments to increased investment to address the backlog of care lost to patients during the pandemic.
  • Specific commitments to increase the investment on recruitment and training of more doctors and nurses, with particular focus on specialists needed by our older population. (There are only 313 geriatric specialists in the entire province, compared to 1,018 pediatricians).

Click here to view, print or share this CARP 5 priority in PDF