Canadian Health Coalition

Credit: Mike Constable /

Wait Times

The Issue:

Many governments in Canada are addressing wait times with solutions like better management and coordination of wait lists, better use of resources and more teamwork between doctors and nurses. Other governments are using wait times as a ruse to privatize – setting up a parallel, private health care system and contracting out hospital surgeries to for-profit doctors and their private clinics. Since doctors and nurses can’t be in more than one place at the same time, creating a two-tiered parallel system will result in doctors, nurses and other health care professionals being poached from public hospitals, making wait times longer for those using the public system. Such schemes only provide better access to the wealthy, and Canadians don’t want their cherished health care system transformed into a U.S.-style two-tier system where those with money buy their way to the front of the line. Public opinion research shows Canadians overwhelmingly support Medicare and want public – not private – solutions to wait times.


Wait Times: Causes and Cures   Canadian Health Coalition Fact Sheet, 2010

Why Wait? Public Solutions to Cure Surgical Waitlists Adobe Acrobat Document
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives & British Columbia Health Coalition, May 2007

Public solutions to health care wait lists Adobe Acrobat Document, CCPA / Michael Rachlis, December 2005 (Download Press Release)

Analysis of Harper’s ‘Care Guarantee’

Health Coalition calls ‘care guarantees’ an election gimmick, Canwest News, April 2007

Harper’s ‘Care Guarantee’ a Privatization Scheme Adobe Acrobat Document, Canadian Health Coalition, April 2007

Harper claims success on ‘care guarantees’: critics disagree Adobe Acrobat Document, Media Coverage April 2007

Harper’s care ‘guarantee’ a Trojan Horse Adobe Acrobat Document

Harper’s ‘care guarantee’ decoded – scheme will benefit private clinics, hurt public system Adobe Acrobat Document

Report of the Federal Wait Times Advisor

Harper Government urged to act on Federal Advisor’s Report on Wait Times Adobe Acrobat Document, Press Release, June 2006

Download the Federal Advisor’s Report on Wait Times, June 2006

Canadian Health Coalition summary of the Report of the Federal Wait Times Advisor Adobe Acrobat Document, June 2006

Federal wait-times adviser says neglected “Cinderella diseases” need attention Adobe Acrobat Document, Canadian Press, June 2006

Do wait guarantees have side-effects? Adobe Acrobat Document, Edmonton Journal, July 2006

Report shows waits part of larger issue Adobe Acrobat Document, Globe and Mail, July 2006

Don’t rush wait times guarantee Adobe Acrobat Document, Canwest News Service, July 2006

The Politics of Wait Times: A National Roundtable

Enter the National Roundtable Website

Medicare advocates criticize wait-time pledges Adobe Acrobat Document, Globe and Mail, January 2006

Provinces don’t support ‘care guarantees’ Adobe Acrobat Document, Globe and Mail, January 2006