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Canada’s medical wait times are unacceptable

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Canada’s medical wait times are unacceptable

Two reports on medical wait times released last week underscore three key points that the more than one million Canadians waiting for medically necessary treatment already know from often bitter experience.

First, that access to a waiting list for health care is not health care.

Second, that waiting for medically necessary treatment imposes a financial burden on patients in addition to physical and psychological ones.

Third, that excessive wait times for medically necessary treatment have become a permanent feature of Canada’s health care system.

One of the reports, by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, found that among other medical procedures, 30% of patients across Canada in 2018 requiring hip or knee replacement, or cataract surgery, did not have their procedures done within recommended wait times.

But that’s only half the story because the recommended wait times for hip and knee replacement are themselves excessive — 182 days or six months — and 112 days or almost four months for cataract surgery.

In reality, Canada’s health care system could not function without excessive wait times for medically necessary care, as a way of rationing health care to Canadians.


Here is another reason we don't want to be like Canada, they have very long wait times for medical care. Bernie would have died waiting.

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