EDMONTON, AB): According to new data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), the NDP government’s failure to support action to reduce wait times has resulted in growing wait times for cataract surgeries across the province while wait times across other categories remain stagnant, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
Only 58 per cent of patients are receiving cataract surgery within the recommended benchmark of 112 days. It takes over 243 days for 90 per cent of patients to be treated. Alberta’s performance on cataract wait times is now second worst in Canada.
Motion 501 was introduced by Wildrose Leader Brian Jean in the Legislature this spring. If it had been passed, it would have identified barriers to treatment, costs to patients and the government from extended waits, and best practices from other provinces to reduce wait times. The NDP government caucus unilaterally voted it down earlier this month.
“It’s disappointing to see that as wait times continue to grow or remain stagnant in our province, the NDP government refuses to listen to common sense advice on how to improve our health care system,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “I have heard from countless Albertans that wait times are a critical issue that greatly impacts quality of life. For what Alberta spends on health care we deserve so much better.”
Also included in the CIHI data is a large discrepancy between different regions of Alberta for wait times for the same procedures, with Southern Alberta underperforming nearly across the board.
“This wait time data calls into question once again the effectiveness of a centralized health care model,” Wildrose Shadow Health Minister Tany Yao said. “At the very least, the NDP government needs to acknowledge that the wait time problem is their priority, and find ways to improve access to health care in our province.”