Quote of Note: Median Wait Between Referral to a Specialist and Treatment in Canada is 17.3 Weeks

“In 2008, the median wait time from general practitioner referral to treatment by a specialist was 17.3 weeks in Canada. Despite substantial increases in both health spending and federal cash transfers to the provinces for health care over the last decade or so, that wait time was 45 per cent longer than the overall median wait time of 11.9 weeks back in 1997. It was 86 per cent longer than the overall median wait time of 9.3 weeks in 1993.

“Canada’s waiting lists are also, according to the available evidence, among the longest in the developed world. For example, a 2007 survey of individuals published in the journal Health Affairs found that Canadians, as compared to patients in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, the Netherlands, the U.K. and the U.S., were most likely to wait more than one month for elective surgery, six days or longer to see a doctor when ill, and two hours or more for access to the ER.”

-Nadeem Esmail, “Medicare Deserves its ‘Whipping Boy’ Status,” The Chronicle Herald, Halifax, Nova Scotia, August 14, 2009

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