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Wait times for Joint Replacements and Cataract Surgery Growing in much of Canada

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 in 2018, according to new data released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).

Meanwhile, most Canadians continued to receive timely access to more urgent procedures, with 88% of Canadians receiving a hip fracture repair and 97% of Canadians receiving radiation therapy within the recommended wait times.

Wait times for hip replacement, knee replacement and cataract surgeries continue to vary depending on where patients live. In most provinces, they are not improving. For example, the percentage of people receiving knee replacement surgery within the recommended wait time of 6 months improved by at least 5% since 2016 in only 3 provinces (Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and British Columbia) while the percentage in Canada’s remaining provinces either decreased or remained stable.

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  • Data on trends from 2014 to 2018 is available in CIHI’s online Wait Times tool, organized by province and procedure. Wait time data from 2008 onward is also available for download.  

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