Mixed results for other priority procedures 

March 31, 2016 — Variations still exist in the percentage of patients receiving treatment within wait time benchmarks, depending on the province and the priority procedure. Priority procedures reported on include hip replacement, knee replacement, hip fracture repair, cataract surgery and radiation therapy. The overall number of priority procedures done continued to increase between 2011 and 2015, and about 8 out of 10 Canadians continued to receive their procedure within benchmarks.

Wait Times for Priority Procedures in Canada, 2016, released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), provides a snapshot of wait times in Canada. Data on trends from 2008 to 2015 is available in CIHI’s online Wait Times tool, organized by province, health region and procedure.

Joint replacements

  • Pan-Canadian wait times for hip and knee replacements were stable from 2011 to 2015, but wait times varied considerably among provinces.

Hip fracture repair

  • The proportion of patients receiving hip fracture repair within the benchmark increased from 79% to 87% between 2011 and 2015.

Cataract surgery

  • Although some provinces saw improvements in wait times for cataract surgeries, fewer patients received care within the benchmark at the national level.
  • The percentage of patients treated within the benchmark dropped from 82% to 76% between 2011 and 2015.

Radiation therapy

  • More than 90% of patients received radiation therapy within the benchmark in all provinces.


“Over the last 5 years, more and more Canadians have had hip and knee replacement surgery. While wait times today for joint and cataract procedures are shorter in Canada than in several other countries, the challenge will be to meet wait time benchmarks in the face of growing demand.”

— Kathleen Morris, Vice President, Research and Analysis, CIHI