VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canadian patients waited longer than ever this year for medical treatment, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

The study, an annual survey of physicians across Canada, reports a median wait time of 27.7 weeks—the longest ever recorded, longer than the wait of 27.4 weeks reported in 2022—and 198 per cent higher than the 9.3 weeks Canadians waited in 1993, when the Fraser Institute began tracking wait times.

“COVID-19 and related hospital closures have exacerbated, but are not the cause, of Canada’s historic wait times challenges,” said Bacchus Barua, director of the Fraser Institute’s Centre for Health Policy Studies and co-author of Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, 2023.


What's causing the long wait times in the Canadian health care system? The median wait time was reported to be 27.7 weeks, which is much longer than in the U.S. This is strange, because Canada is one of the country that spends the most on health care as reported by the OECD. It ranks 12th in that regard.


  • What is meant by waiting for medical treatment? Operations? Seeing a doctor? Getting a prescription? Until an ambulance arrives after an accident? What exactly got longer in Canada? Mar 16 at 20:57
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    "...which is much longer than in the U.S. This is strange, because Canada is one of the country that spends the most..." This comparison is a bit strange. The US is the one country that spends most, much, much more than Canada, so if the waiting time is longer than in the US, that would be expected. Maybe compare waiting times in Canada with other countries that spend similarly? Australia spends similarly to Canada. Do Canadians wait longer than Australians? Mar 16 at 21:00

1 Answer 1


What's causing the long wait times in the Canadian Healthcare System?

  • Covid-19 Impact
  • Cancelled or Delayed Procedures and Appointments
  • Loss of Income
  • Supply and Demand
  • Investment in Equipment and Staff
  • Mental Health Impacts
  • Resource Allocation

“Subsequently, worse health outcomes are often associated with higher costs to individuals, as waiting for care may be burdened by a loss of income due to the inability to work.”

Healthcare: What's causing the shortages in Canada?

  • 1
    There isn't really a need to repeat the question in an answer (and even printed with more emphasis than in the question). Are the bullet points the summary of the linked content or where do they come from? Is there maybe a quantification, like what is the most important and what is the least important of these points? Also if for example "resource allocation" is an important point, is there anything known about what caused this particular resource allocation (the reason behind the direct reasons)? Also who loses income? And shouldn't the Covid 19 impact recede by now? Mar 16 at 20:55

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