A new national survey has concluded that Ontarians have relatively shorter waiting periods as compared to the rest of the country. Though this may appear to be good news for the residents, the reality is that the average period of hospital waits have increased as compared to the previous year. The Fraser Institute in its 16th annual rating of wait times concluded that Canadian patients had to wait for an average of 17.8 weeks for treatment after being referred by a General Practitioner. This latest figure is marginally higher as compared to the figure of 17.7 weeks in 2005.
Patients of Ontario, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador comparatively receive faster treatment than the other seven provinces. Ontario averaged 14.9 weeks followed by Alberta with 16.3 weeks. On the other end is New Brunswick where the wait is a laborious 31.9 weeks or nearly eight months.
Nadeem Esmail who coauthored the report commented any improvements in the immediate future were unlikely given the recent agreements between the provincial and the federal government. He also added that these figures were the second highest average ever recorded by the institute.
Mr Esmail stated that even though the government has acknowledged the problem and has started to make attempts to resolve the same, it was well short of the required standards and was based on the premise that Canadians were required to wait for care and will wait at all times for the same. He opined that a realistic and frank study, free from the traditional political rhetoric of healthcare systems elsewhere in the developed world having circumvented similar problems was the need of the hour.