Wait Times

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Canada's Health-Care System Is Failing Patients

Shorter waits for hip-fracture repair, and eight out of 10 Canadians receiving "priority procedures" within government-defined benchmarks. Sounds pretty good, right? However, these highlights from the Canadian Institute of Healthcare Information's annual update of Wait Times for Priority Procedures in Canada are little more than feel-good distractions from the real story.
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Physician-Assisted Dying Isn't Always A Choice For The Vulnerable

One of the consistent worries voiced throughout Canada's long national discussion of physician assisted dying is the desire to protect vulnerable people. One fear is that people with disabilities may be directly pressured or coerced into consenting to medical aid in dying. More insidiously though, vulnerable people may come to desire death due to a lack of any reasonable alternative to their suffering. For this reason, many have called for us to redouble our attention to providing access to high quality palliative care so that people are not driven toward medically assisted death by uncontrolled pain.
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Physician-Assisted Dying Isn't Always A Choice For The Vulnerable

One of the consistent worries voiced throughout Canada's long national discussion of physician assisted dying is the desire to protect vulnerable people. One fear is that people with disabilities may be directly pressured or coerced into consenting to medical aid in dying. More insidiously though, vulnerable people may come to desire death due to a lack of any reasonable alternative to their suffering. For this reason, many have called for us to redouble our attention to providing access to high quality palliative care so that people are not driven toward medically assisted death by uncontrolled pain.
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What I Learned About Our Healthcare System While Waiting for Hip Surgery

One week before my scheduled operation I was told that I had been bumped for a situation that presented a "higher level of urgency." They had just added almost eight weeks to my wait time for reasons that were opaque, at best, and without logic to me. Why did this happen? In the end, I got no real answers, only rumours about parental leave (nothing sudden or unforeseen about that) and other factors that may or may not have been part of the equation. So, beyond my personal experience, the real question is: Are Canadian wait times for hip replacement justified or could they be shortened?
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What Is the True Value of Time Lost Waiting for Medical Treatments?

Imagine being told you need medical treatment, but have to wait for more than two months before you can get it. This is the average wait time experience for more than 900,000 Canadian patients. While some of them may be lucky enough to wait for their treatment without an impact on quality of life, others may endure weeks of pain and suffering. In some cases, patients waiting for treatment may no longer be able to do their jobs properly and may be forced to take time off work and forgo their income.
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Health Care Wait Times in Alberta Improving

Alberta is building a culture of continuous improvement in health care. This culture is founded on more and better data, innovative thinking, an extraordinary effort to share information, and unprecedented action on the front lines. Wait time reports cards need to examine performance at this level, and Canadians should have this kind of information to grade their health system.
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Don't Listen to the Fear Mongers. Competition in Health Care Works

Those opposed to market-based health care reform do their best to scare Canadians. Reality, however, is considerably different. International experience suggests that private competition is a fundamental feature of a high-performing, universal access health care system. For evidence, consider the Dutch health care system where private (and even for-profit) insurance companies, private providers, activity-based funding and cost sharing combine to provide more timely access to high (if not higher) quality care than Canada's system for similar cost.
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In Canada, This Is A 28-Hour Wait?

TORONTO - A new report says one in 10 Canadians who goes to an emergency department and requires admission to hospital has to wait more than 28 hours for a bed.The report says nine of 10 people who tr...
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We Spend Money, But Health Care Doesn't Get Better

Canada's health expenditures as a share of the economy are, after accounting for our younger population, higher compared to every other developed nation with universal health insurance. Yet Canadians endure some of the longest delays for emergency care, primary care, specialist consultations, and elective surgery in the developed world.
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Why Hospitals Slow to a Crawl During the Summer

Every year, provincial health care systems across Canada dutifully reduce the volume of services they provide in preparation for the summer vacation season. This planned-for reduction has the inevitable effect of lengthening waiting times for Canadians over the summer months (and during Christmas holidays). The added twist this year is the slowdowns might be extended in a bid to reduce expenditures.
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Think Canada Has the World's Best Health Care? Think Again

We would wager citizens of every country think health care could be improved. However, we would also bet a plane ticket to someone's favourite summer getaway that Canadians will find countries with universal health care, such as Australia, Japan, or favourite tourist destinations in Europe, have far better health care than we do. That's because their citizens and their governments have no hang-ups about the three boogeymen of upfront fees, "private" insurance, and private delivery. They are also nations with progressive, sensible health care practices that could help improve Canada's health care system.
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The Real Reason Canada is Short on Hospital Beds

Canada has over 70,000 hospital beds and spends more than $47 billion a year on hospital care, yet accessing these beds when they're needed most remains an important public health concern. Many hospital beds are being used by patients who no longer require the specialized equipment or nursing care provided by a hospital. So what's the solution?