Center for Health Services and Policy Research

Center for Health Services and Policy Research
Queen’s University

Queen’s University

November 21, 2007 13:54 ET

National and Provincial Leaders to Examine Medical Wait Times at Joint Conference

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 21, 2007) - Health care and policy experts from across the country are invited to help write the prescription for managing wait times for health care at a two-day conference co-hosted by Kingston General Hospital and Queen's University.

Wait Times In Canada: Writing the 'Script for Success, to be held at the Queen's University campus Nov. 26 and 27, will offer a unique opportunity to combine the perspectives of leaders from two critical aspects of the health-care sector in Canada.

"This is no ordinary conference," says Dr. Chris Simpson, Cardiac Program Medical Director at the Kingston General and Hotel Dieu hospitals and an assistant professor at Queen's University. "The event will be a catalyst for health-care policy makers, planners, administrators and providers to develop practical and effective approaches to making a real difference in how long Canadians wait for care across all specialties and along the entire continuum of care."

Together with Dr. Arthur Sweetman, Director of the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University, Dr. Simpson organized this forum to explore possible solutions to this high profile health-care issue. Topics include what has been done so far to reduce wait times, what has worked, what has not and what the Canadian health-care system must do next to make a difference.

"When the cost to the patient, to the caregiver and to the health care system are all taken into account, the true per-patient value of long wait times becomes more significant," says Dr. Sweetman. "To address this issue, we need national benchmarks to ensure Canadians have equitable access to health care in a timely, cost-effective manner."

Conference highlights include presentations by Globe & Mail health columnist Andre Picard, former Canadian Medical Association President Dr. Colin McMillan, and Wait Times Alliance co-chair Dr. Lorne Bellan who will speak in part on progress to date by governments in achieving meaningful reductions in wait times for the five initial priority areas identified in their 2004 agreement, A Ten-year Plan to Strengthen Health Care.

The conference also explores the issue of hospital wait times from a policy perspective, featuring presentations by Scientific Director of Policy Research at the Canadian Institute of Health Services Dr. Colleen Flood, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care provincial wait time strategy lead Dr. Alan R. Hudson and others.

Participants will engage in interactive discussions aimed at developing practical and concrete solutions and future directions relating to this important issue. These solutions will be published in discussion papers after the conference.

The conference can accommodate up to 150 participants. For more information or to register, call 613-533-6217 or visit

Affiliated with Queen's University, Kingston General Hospital is a 456-bed teaching hospital that serves more than 500,000 people in southeastern Ontario and is the community hospital for the Kingston area. KGH provides an array of specialized acute and ambulatory clinical services including trauma, cardiac, stroke, pediatric, perinatal, end stage renal and stem cell transplants. Home to the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario, KGH is dedicated to compassionate, high quality health care in a dynamic academic research environment. It features a robust research program and provides hands-on skill training for 1,900 health-care students annually. For more information, visit the web site at

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