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Access and Wait Times

Many Canadians have good access to health care services and experience manageable wait times. But some face challenges when it comes to

  • Emergency room wait times
  • Wait times for priority procedures
  • Location of services
  • Finding appropriate health service providers

Access to health care services is a factor that contributes to differences in health. Improving access to care and reducing wait times are prominent health policy issues in Canada and many other countries.

CIHI has worked with governments to improve information about access to care and wait times. We are committed to addressing information gaps in this area. As well as looking at health services, CIHI examines access to care from a population health perspective.

Featured content

wait timesWait times for Priority Procedure in Canada

Progress on reducing waits can be tracked using CIHI’s interactive graphics, which display numerous years of provincial data.

Key reports and analyses

Wait times for Priority Procedures in Canada, 2015 is CIHI's tenth annual report in this series and is accompanied by a new graphic display of wait time data across Canada.


The provinces and CIHI work to refine wait time indicators for the priority areas agreed to by the first ministers in 2004. These include wait times related to joint replacement, sight restoration, cancer, heart and diagnostic imaging.
Read the indicators overview (Apr. 2013) (PPTX).


Metadata is information about data. It helps users understand and interpret the meaning behind the data.
Wait times metadata


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