SAGE 2015 was a short survey conducted during the week of April 20th – 24th to provide a snapshot of how long Canadians wait for digestive and liver disease consultation and procedures. Specialists recorded 5-6 data points on at least five new, consecutive consults and five new, consecutive procedure patients (outpatients only).
Who Could Participate?
Gastroenterologists and internists specializing in adult gastroenterology were requested to participate, provided they record the date that patients are first referred.
Survey findings identified the median wait times for gastroenterology services continue to exceed recommended targets and have significantly worsened since 2005.
Why is SAGE important?
In 2005 many clinician Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG) members participated in PAGE Wait Times Program to provide ground breaking national data on wait times for digestive health care, which ultimately secured the CAG's position within the federal Wait Time Alliance.
In 2008 the CAG designed the Survey of Access to GastroEnterology (SAGE) program to provide a snapshot of wait times related to the 18 non-urgent indications referenced in the Canadian consensus on medically acceptable wait times for digestive health care. Survey findings identified the median wait times for gastroenterology services continue to exceed recommended targets and have significantly worsened since 2005. Project findings were published in the 2011 Wait Time Alliance report card.
The CAG continues to explore the issues behind excessive wait times in order to ultimately improve access. The SAGE 2015 survey was the same short survey as done in 2012 (with a few minor changes) and provided us with a snapshot of wait times.