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Ontario Wait Times

Wait Times Targets

Ontario has set target dates to reach wait time benchmarks announced by Provincial and Territorial health ministers in December 2005.

Service Area Wait Time Targets Target Date
Cataract surgery Within 26 weeks Achieved 90%
within Target
Cardiac Bypass Surgery Within 26 weeks Achieved
Radiation Therapy Within four weeks of patient being ready to treat 90% within target by March 2009
Hip Fracture Within 48 hours 90% within target by March 2009
Hip and Knee Replacements Within 26 weeks Achieved 90% within target

Ontario is working with Cancer Care Ontario to develop an integrated screening strategy for breast and cervical cancer screening. The strategy will include screening targets and dates to reach the benchmarks for breast cancer screening and cervical cancer screening.

Ontario has developed wait time targets for the optimal length of time within which a patient should be treated. These wait time targets were developed with the help of clinical experts and serve as a method of accountability and provide a goal to achieve. These targets include urgency classifications and are incorporated in the provincial Wait Times Information System.

The data published on this website represent all non-emergency patients who received these services. Clinicians assess each patient and determine how urgent their need for treatment is, and as a result the wait times may be very different for a patient who requires surgery but is medically stable and able to wait at home and a patient who is classified as urgent and requires surgery as soon as possible to prevent their condition from worsening.

Service Area Pan-Canadian Benchmarks
- Announced Dec 12, 2005
Ontario's targets (in weeks)
Cataract Surgery 16 weeks for patients at risk (which correlates with Ontario's PIII priority rating)
  • Priority I: Immediate
  • Priority II: 6 weeks
  • Priority III: 12 weeks
  • Priority IV: 26 weeks
Hip/Knee Replacement 26 weeks
  • PI: Immediate
  • PII: 6 weeks
  • PIII: 12 weeks
  • PIV: 26 weeks
Cardiac-Bypass Surgery
  • No benchmarks
  • Level 1: 2 weeks
  • Level 2: 6 weeks
  • Level 3: 26 weeks
  • PI: Immediate
  • PII: 2 weeks
  • PIII: 6 weeks
  • PIV: 26 weeks
MRI/CT Scans No benchmarks
  • PI: Immediate
  • PII: 48 hours
  • PIII: 2 - 10 days
  • PIV: 4 weeks
Cancer Surgery No benchmarks
  • PI: Immediate
  • PII: 2 weeks
  • PIII: 4 weeks
  • PIV: 12 weeks

Ontario has established the wait time access targets for general, orthopaedic and ophthalmic surgeries.

GENERAL SURGERY TARGETS

Priority Level General Surgery Priority Descriptions Access Target
1
  • Immediate – emergency surgery required
Within 24 hours
2
  • Constant, frequent or severe pain/symptoms (biological, psychological);
  • Significantly impacts ability to perform usual activities;
  • High probability of disease progression with morbidity that might affect function or life expectancy;
  • Recurring unscheduled visits i.e. ED/primary care physician/surgeon
Within 4 weeks
3
  • Mild or occasional pain/symptoms (biological, psychological);
  • Minimally or moderately impacts ability to perform usual activities;
  • Low probability of disease progression with morbidity that might affect function or life expectancy;
  • Minimal unscheduled visits i.e. ED/primary care physician/surgeon
Within 12 weeks
4
  • Elective indication for surgery;
  • Minimal risk of morbidity incurred by waiting
Within 26 weeks

ORTHOPAEDIC SURGERY TARGETS

Priority Level General Surgery Priority Descriptions Access Target
1
  • Surgery is urgently required
    i.e. fractures, tendon/ligament injury, significant joint derangement
Within 1 week
2
  • Severe pain that actively affects role and independence;
  • High probability of disease progression and morbidity affecting function
Within 6 weeks
3
  • Moderate pain;
  • Disability is a threat to role and independence;
  • Disease progression is moderate
Within 12 weeks
4
  • Minimal pain; disability does not threaten role and independence;
  • Disease progression is minimal
Within 26 weeks

OPHTHALMIC SURGERY TARGETS

Priority Level General Surgery Priority Descriptions Access Target
1
  • Immediate surgery required to preserve sight or prevent secondary damage
Within 24 hours
2
  • Significantly impacts ability to perform usual activities;
  • High probability of disease progression that might affect ocular function or result in compromised surgical outcome;
  • Constant, frequent or severe pain/symptoms (biological, psychological)
Within 6 weeks
3
  • Moderately impacts ability to perform usual activities;
  • Moderate probability of disease progression that might affect ocular function or result in compromised surgical outcome;
  • Moderate or occasional pain/symptoms (biological, psychological)
Within 12 weeks
4
  • Elective indication for surgery;
  • Minimally impacts ability to perform usual activities;
  • Minimal risk of morbidity incurred by waiting
Within 26 weeks

Other Ophthalmic Surgery Targets

Priority Level Cataract Corneal Transplant Glaucoma Vitrectomy
1 Within 24 hours Within 24 hours Within 24 hours Within 24 hours
2 Within 6 weeks Within 4 weeks Within 2 weeks Within 1 week
3 Within 12 weeks Within 12 weeks Within 6 weeks Within 6 weeks
4 Within 26 weeks Within 26 weeks Within 16 weeks Within 12 weeks

Clinical Targets :

Clinical targets were developed in conjunction with surgeons, clinicians and administrators across Ontario to help hospitals work towards managing, prioritizing and improving the delivery of care for all surgical services.

For More Information

Call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-888-779-7767
(Toll-free in Ontario only)

E-mail : transforminghealth@moh.gov.on.ca

TTY 1-800-387-5559. In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00p