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A national strategy for waiting-times research?

Slaughter PM, Carlisle J, Williams J, Ferris LE. CMAJ. 2005; 172(10):1283-4.

The First Ministers' Conference on Health Care in the fall of 2004 resulted in a federal government pledge of $4.5 billion over 6 years to reduce waiting times for cancer care, coronary angioplasty, bypass surgery and angiography, diagnostic testing (MRI and CT scans), hip and knee replacement, and cataract surgery. As part of this strategy, each province must create electronic patient registries to track waiting times. Although the immediate priority is to manage waiting lists and monitor progress in the short term, the potential to use these registries as a research tool to improve health care in the future is plain. One issue that must first be resolved is how personal patient information will be handled and protected.

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Keywords: Health policy/reform Access to health care Medical ethics