Across Canada, for orthopaedics, the total wait time in 2020 was 34.1 weeks. This is a decrease of 5 weeks, compared to 2019 when the wait was 39.1 weeks. Chart 1 shows Orthopedic surgery wait times 10 years back and also includes 1993 when it was 19.5 weeks.
The report further breaks down wait times into two different segments. Segment 1 is the wait time from referral by a general practitioner to consultation with a specialist. Segment 2 is the wait time from the consultation with a specialist to point at which a patient receives treatment.
The wait time from GP to a specialist was 13.2, again, less than in 2019 when it was 14.6. The wait time from specialist to treatment was 20.9 weeks down from 24.5 weeks in 2019. Although it is one of the longest wait time for the 12 specialities surveyed in 2020 (shared by Plastic Surgery and Ophthalmology), it is definitely an improvement over the last year.
As far as which province fares the best, the report lists ON, where the median patient wait to see a specialist after referral from GP takes 8 weeks, and median wait to get treatment after the appointment with a specialist is 18.2 weeks. In other words, the median time to get an orthopaedic surgery in Ontario is 26.2 weeks. The province of Saskatchewan came very close, it takes longer to see a specialist (median 20 weeks), but faster to get surgery (6.3 weeks) a total of 26.3 weeks.
The longest wait time was in NS – a total of 57.6 weeks from referral by GP to surgery. Please refer to Chart 2 for the rest of the Canadian provinces numbers.
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