Since 2005, Wait Time Alliance physicians have used their unique expertise to develop benchmarks for medically acceptable wait times for close to 1000 treatments in 16 areas of practice.

What are wait time benchmarks exactly?

Benchmarks are the maximum amounts of time that a patient should wait for specific treatments, tests, or procedures; beyond that, evidence shows that waiting will likely have adverse effects on a patient’s health. You can think of benchmarks as performance goals for Canada’s health care system—if our system is running well, Canadians should be treated within the time indicated. It should also be kept in mind that in many other countries, patients are seen or treated well before these benchmarks, which are intended to show the absolute longest one should wait. For more information on how benchmarks are created, refer to the Frequently Asked Questions.

Wait Time Alliance benchmarks include:

Image of patients in waiting room

I am most grateful I now have a date for surgery. But, I am very conscious of far too many who are still waiting without one.

-Beverley, Nova Scotia

While Wait Time Alliance benchmarks were developed using the best available evidence, they do not define a standard of care nor should they be interpreted as regulatory or legal advice. Variations in practice may be warranted based on the needs of the individual patient, resources, and limitations unique to the institution, type of practice or jurisdiction. Members of the Wait Time Alliance assume no responsibility or liability arising from any error or omission or from the use of any information contained herein.