The Institute of Medicine’s Quality Chasm report stresses that health care must be timely and patient centered. How’s Canada doing? They’re trying, but non-emergency health care there is anything but timely. Newly announced federal wait time benchmarks, hailed as a major improvement, are deemed inadequate by Canadian physician specialty groups according to this report in CMAJ. They include cancer irradiation within 4 weeks, hip fracture repair within 48 hours, hip and knee replacement within 6 months, cataract surgery within 4 months for high risk patients, and coronary artery bypass surgery in 2 to 6 weeks in high risk patients. And that’s considered improvement.
Worse, there’s a wait time for the improvements. Canada’s provinces were given 2 years to set implementation targets.