Wait Times in Canada: Summary of Findings (2014)

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Executive Summary

Canadians are generally divided in their satisfaction with wait times, there is a significant concern with some types of waits and less than half think there has been improvement over the last ten years according to a survey of 1,000 Canadians conducted between September 13th and 16th, 2014 for the Wait Time Alliance.

Canadians are generally divided when it comes to wait times with just over half (52.7%) at least somewhat satisfied but almost as many are dissatisfied or somewhat dissatisfied (47.0%). In addition, only 10.3% think the wait time situation has improved and 29.7% that it has somewhat improved.

Concern with wait times is high for most aspects of the health care system but highest for waiting too long to see a specialist (64.1% are concerned and 29.9% are somewhat concerned). In comparison, the area of least concern is waiting to see a family physician (33.0% are concerned and 35.6% are somewhat concerned). In this context, 52.2% think it is important for the Federal government to play a leading role to reduce wait times. Other findings:

  • Canadians place a high rate of importance (68.4%) on having equal access for all regardless of where they live. This is higher than the importance of having Canada rate amongst the best countries in the world for healthcare (57.8%).
  • When it comes to information sharing, 64.7% say it is important for the provincial government to share more information about how they spend money on health, and 61.3% think it is important that they are able to compare healthcare expenditures and health outcomes across Canada.