The waiting times for patients in Canada's hospitals has improved, but targets for some emergency procedures still needs improvement, according to the report released by Wait Time Alliance of the Canadian Medical Association. The report also stresses the importance of timely information to patients about exact treatment times, especially for priority procedures.
Most hospitals have managed to keep up the target, which is good news. Nearly 80% of the patients who required bypass surgery received the treatment on time. But patients for 'knee replacement surgeries' had to face the brunt of long waiting times. Further, reporting practices were different across provinces, making it difficult for patients to make a relative study of the progress.
Five priority areas were classified by health ministers, - cardiac care, cancer care, sight restoration, joint replacement and diagnostic imaging. Now, benchmarks have been given for all these categories. The Alliance also addressed the impediments for improvement in the priority areas. Grades were accorded for each area, such as - A for cardiac care and sight restoration, a B for CT scans, hip replacement and cancer care, and C for knee replacement and MRIs. Steps should be taken to reduce waiting times even in the areas that have not been listed by the Alliance.