NEWS RELEASE · 17th June 2010
Ministry of Health Services
A national wait time report card published today gives British Columbia an 'A' when it comes to hip and knee joint replacement, cancer care, cataract surgery and cardiac care.
The Wait Time Alliance 2010 report card is put together by several national medical specialty societies and assigns grades to each province based on how many people were treated within the expected benchmark for each surgery. British Columbia scored an 'A' for hip, knee, cancer, sight and cardiac times for the second straight year. The report also noted that British Columbia showed a decrease in wait times for each of the categories.
"I am very proud that British Columbia continues to lead the country in improving access to care and reducing wait times for surgery," said Health Services Minister Kevin Falcon. "We are building patient care with new and expanded hospitals across the province, record-funding levels and levering innovation such as patient focused funding to drive further improvements.
One of the best examples is the UBC Hospital Centre for Surgical Innovation, where successes include more hip and knee surgeries through increased efficiencies at a lower cost and drop in length of hospital stay for patients."
The Wait Times Alliance 2010 report card reinforces the recent report on wait-time comparisons from the Canadian Institute for Health Information that showed British Columbia as a national leader in exceeding the benchmarks for all priority areas.
"While we continue to lead Canada, we know there is much more that can be done," added Falcon. "We are constantly looking at ways to improve access to care, and be even more transparent in reporting outcomes."
The Ministry of Health Services is revamping its surgical wait time website to give patients even better information to allow them to make informed decisions about their waits. The information will help them decide if there is a faster and more appropriate treatment available. Innovative use of surgical data will allow health authorities and the ministry to pinpoint where long waits are occurring, to make the best decisions about funding and surgical resource allocation.
The wait time website is part of British Columbia's comprehensive strategy to improve surgical access and reduce wait times through increased efficiencies and better innovations.
The Wait Time Alliance comprises of 14 national medical societies and associations, including the Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Cardiovascular Society, the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology and Canadian Ophthalmological Society.