Menu

Wait Time Benchmarks for Digestive Health Care

A CAG-led consensus panel, representing national and regional gastroenterology associations, hepatology, general surgery, internal medicine and family practice,  developed 24 recommendations for maximal, medically-appropriate wait times for gastroenterological consultation and procedures.

Actual Wait Times for Digestive Care in Canada

Results from the 2005 Practice Audit in Gastroenterology (PAGE) Wait Times program confirmed that wait times for gastroenterological care are excessive (Can J Gastroenterol 2008;22(2):155-60). Comparison of these wait times with the benchmarks for care described above has unfortunately shown that many of the targets are not being achieved (Can J Gastroenterol 2008;22(2):161-7).

In 2008 the Survey of Access to Gastroenterology (SAGE) again measured wait times for gastroenterological care. The survey found that waits have worsened since 2005 and continue to exceed recommendations (Can J Gastroenterol 2010;24(1):20-5). The SAGE programs completed in 2012 and 2015 continue to point to a worrisome trend of longer wait times.

The CAG continues to advocate for the opportunity to work with government in an effort to decrease wait times, achieve benchmarks, and address the looming shortage of gastroenterology specialists.

Since April 2007, the CAG has been a member of the Wait Time Alliance for Timely Access to Health Care.  The Association is working towards the goal of timely and quality digestive health care for all Canadians.

NEW RELEASE: Eliminating Code Gridlock in Canada’s Health Care System: 2015 Wait Time Alliance Report Card

The 2015 WTA report card highlights timely access on two broader system-related issues: seniors care and care provided to populations falling under federal jurisdiction (i.e., First Nations, refugees, veterans, Canadian Forces and inmates in federal prisons).

SAGE/PSAGE Programs

The SAGE/PSAGE programs provide a snapshot of how long Canadians wait for digestive and liver disease consultation and procedures.