March 28, 2019 — How long do you have to wait for a joint replacement or cataract surgery in Canada? Learn how many patients received care within medically recommended wait times for priority procedures in our Wait Times tool.

Key findings

  • Approximately 30% of patients who required a hip or knee replacement or cataract surgery did not have their procedure done within the recommended wait times.
  • Most Canadians continue to receive timely access to urgent procedures such as hip fracture repair and radiation therapy.
  • Wait times for cancer surgery are generally stable, with results varying by body site.
  • Wait times for diagnostic imaging have generally improved, although wait times for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans continue to be longer than for computed tomography (CT) scans.

Featured material

Wait Times tool

Explore benchmarks for treatments and wait times across Canada.

View tool

Technical notes

View technical notes that outline how we analyzed priority procedure wait times and data on access to health care.

Download technical notes (PDF)


Definitions of priority areas for wait times, including cancer treatment, cardiac care, diagnostic imaging, joint replacement and sight restoration. 

Download definitions (PPTX)