Many Canadians have good access to health care services and experience manageable wait times. But some face challenges when it comes to
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.
Wait times for Priority Procedures in Canada, 2013
CIHI's eigth annual report on wait times, with a graphic showing wait time data across Canada.
Hani’s Knee Replacement Journey
See the timeline for one patient’s experience across the health care continuum.
Key reports and analyses
Health Care in Canada, 2012: A Focus on Wait Times
Discover what is known about wait times in Canada in different settings and see where gaps exist. (Nov. 2012)
Emerging Wait Times Indicators, 2012 (PPTX, 3.8 MB)
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, 4 MB).
Metadata is information about data. It helps users understand and interpret the meaning behind the data.
Wait times metadata
CIHI’s study, Wait Times Tables—A Comparison by Province, 2010, released in March 2010, reports on patient wait times for five priority areas identified by Canada’s first ministers in 2004: cancer treatment, cardiac care, sight restoration, joint replacement and diagnostic imaging. The most recent study shows that most patients are receiving care within recommended wait times for priority-area procedures, such as hip fracture repair, cataract surgery, cancer radiation therapy and hip replacements.
Patients in all 10 provinces wait longer for knee replacements than for any other priority procedure. However, for the three most populous provinces (Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia), at least three-quarters of patients received knee replacements within the recommended wait time of 26 weeks. On the other end, fewer than half of patients had their knee replaced within the benchmark in two provinces.