An annual report from the Fraser Institute based on the survey results of specialist physicians across 12 specialties and 10 provinces. Some good news: overall, wait-times for medically necessary treatment have decreased. Some bad news: they remain overall long in comparison to 1993 benchmarks and there is lots of variation from province to province. The shortest waits for specialist consultations are in Saskatchewan (6.3 weeks) while the longest occur in New Brunswick (28.5 weeks).
Digging into the report, we see that Orthopaedic Surgeon wait-times continue to be one of the worst (actually, the worst in this report) out of all the specialties: 14.6 weeks for Wait 1 (wait from GP to specialist) and 24.4-weeks for Wait 2 (wait from specialist to treatment). Wait 1 has improved since the Fraser Institute’s 2017 report. Patients are also experiencing significant wait-times for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. An MRI scan is generally considered to be the single best imaging study of the spine to help plan treatment for back pain. The wait for a MRI scan has decreased slightly to 10.6 weeks from 10.8 weeks in 2017. Again, lots of variation from province to province.
It is important to note that this study is designed to estimate the wait-times and actual wait-times may be different.
Here is a link to the full report.