Canadian Medical Association

Canadian Medical Association
Canadian Association of Radiologists

Canadian Association of Radiologists
CANM

CANM
The Official Voice of Radiation Oncology

The Official Voice of Radiation Oncology
Canadian Cardiovascular Society

Canadian Cardiovascular Society
Canadian Ophtalmological Society

Canadian Ophtalmological Society
Canadian Orthopaedic Association

Canadian Orthopaedic Association

August 10, 2005 11:00 ET

CMA/It's About Time: Report Charts Course to Cut Wait Times

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 10, 2005) - The Wait Time Alliance (WTA) released its final report today, providing governments with clear direction and a set of tools to mitigate, measure, monitor and manage wait times for health care services.

"This report charts a course through the sea of rhetoric that has emerged in the wake of the Supreme Court's June 9th decision on the health care system," said WTA co-chair Dr. Ruth Collins-Nakai. "If implemented, this report will help fulfil the Medicare promise, that being timely access to quality health for all Canadians."

The report -It's About Time!: Achieving Benchmarks and Best Practices in Wait Time Management, builds upon the WTA's interim report released last April which provided a set of first principles on wait time management and a set of proposed wait time benchmarks in the five priority areas identified by First Ministers. The Final Report goes much further including:



- A final set of wait-time benchmarks in all five areas including all
new benchmarks for cardiovascular care and changes to those for
nuclear medicine
- Toolbox of strategies for governments to consider in implementing
wait-time reduction initiatives
- Wait time Code of Rights and Responsibilities for patients,
providers and governments


In addition, the WTA final report includes two key recommendations, a new 5-year, $1-billion federal Health Human Resources Reinvestment Fund and a 5-year $2-billion fund to improve portability of care so patients can get the care they need when they need it.

"The First Ministers' Plan offers the promise of better access to health services, but fulfilling that promise requires action right now," said Normand Laberge, WTA spokesperson and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Association of Radiologists. "This report should provide the basis for governments to adopt and implement pan-Canadian wait time benchmarks. What is needed now is the political will for governments to act to fulfil their collective commitment."

The WTA has submitted its final report to the Council of the Federation for consideration at its meeting this week in Banff, Alberta. First Ministers committed to establishing wait time benchmarks by the end of December 2005.

"The WTA looks forward to working with government to provide all Canadians with timely access to quality care," said WTA co-chair Dr. Ruth Collins-Nakai. "Wait time benchmarks are about putting patients first and we think it's about time."

The Wait Time Alliance of Canada (WTA) is comprised of the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Association of Radiologists, the Canadian Association of Nuclear Medicine, the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncologists, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, the Canadian Ophthalmological Society, and the Canadian Orthopaedic Association.

Please visit www.cma.ca to access the full report of the WTA.

Contact Information

  • CMA
    Carole Lavigne
    Media Relations
    (613) 731-8610 or 1-800-663-7336 ext. 1266