A report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) said that despite the government investing a huge amount of money there has been no shortening of waiting time. Glenda Yeates, president of the federal-provincial agency said that the volume of diagnostic tests and high-priority procedures has increased dramatically.
But demand for care seems to have increased just as much. Statistics show that the number of angioplasties and bypass surgeries increased 51 %, the joint replacements rose 30 % , and cataract surgeries by 32 %.
CIHI Chairman Graham Scott said that new technology is probably a factor for such a rise in health care services and also for the long waiting queue. If techniques for a certain kind of surgery improve, the procedure will become more popular.
Health policy consultant Steven Lewis of Saskatoon said that money is spent on health care services and it has a virtually limitless capacity to absorb new money.
Lewis said that the use of the latest techniques in diagnostic imaging has increased four-fold over the decade but it is not clear how much benefit is being achieved.
The Canadian Association of Radiologists has estimated that unnecessary tests cost the system $500 million annually.
The study found that Canada is a long way from being able to measure wait times consistently across the country, because each province has different ways of collecting information.