Ontario residents wait twice as long as recommended for urgent cancer surgery

TheGlobeandMail.com – news/national – Ontario residents wait twice as long as recommended for urgent cancer surgery: Provincial watchdog says patients still wait up to 120 days for an MRI, well over the target of 28 days
Jun. 09, 2009.   TORONTO — The Canadian Press

The provincial watchdog that looks at the state of Ontario’s health-care system says people are still waiting twice as long as recommended for urgent cancer surgery.

The Ontario Health Quality Council says there has been some progress in reducing wait times for hip and knee replacements, cataract surgeries and some cardiac procedures.

However, council CEO Dr. Ben Chan says half of Ontario cancer patients who need urgent surgery have to about twice as long as is medically acceptable.

Dr. Chan says the last thing people want to hear when they’ve been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer is that they’ll have to wait up to four weeks for an operation.

The council also found that Ontario does twice as many MRI scans as it did a few years ago, but patients still wait up to 120 days for an MRI, well over the target of 28 days.

Dr. Chan says it’s also important that the controversy surrounding the management of eHealth Ontario doesn’t push back the province’s 2015 date for implementing electronic health records.

He says Ontario is already too far behind in implementing a system that would allow doctors and other health-care professionals to share a patient’s records electronically.

11:21ET 09-06-09

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