July 9, 2020 — How long do you have to wait for surgery or another procedure in Canada? Our Wait Times tool provides a timely snapshot of how long patients wait for hip or knee replacement surgery, hip fracture repair, cataract surgery, diagnostic imaging and more. Explore the tool to learn how many patients received care within medically recommended wait times in each province.

Note: The following data and findings reflect the most recent information available from the 2019 data cycle before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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. There is large variation in wait times for these procedures across Canada. 
  • Despite performing more surgeries, many provinces have seen increases in wait times for joint replacement and cataract surgery since 2017.
  • Median wait times for prostate cancer surgery (41 days) and lung cancer surgery (24 days) have increased by 3 days since 2017.
  • For urgent procedures such as hip fracture repair and radiation therapy, most Canadians continue to receive care within benchmark time frames.

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

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

Download definitions (PPTX)