With an aim to reduce wait times in five priority areas, in November 2004 the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care allocated significant funding to hospitals to increase the number of surgeries performed to treat cancer, heart disease, cataracts, and osteoarthritis of the hip and knee, as well as to increase the number of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)/computed tomography (CT) scans. Further incremental funding was allocated in May 2005, January 2006, and September 2006.
The purpose of this study is to look at potential unintended consequences of the Ontario Wait Times Strategy by:
i) Assessing rates of (and possibly waits for) surgical procedures that were covered vs. not covered under the Strategy; and,
ii) Considering shifts in priority among and within surgical specialties by evaluating case mix overall and within specialties over time.