Albertans are waiting longer than the national average for cataract surgeries and four other medical procedures, according to a report released Monday by the Canadian Institute for Health Information.
The report looked at wait times across the country for six procedures: cataract surgeries, hip replacements, knee replacements, hip fracture repair, bypass surgery and radiation therapy. Albertans waited longer than the national average for five of them.
For cataract surgeries, 48 per cent of Albertans needing the procedure got in within the benchmark of 16 weeks, compared to the national average of 83 per cent.
|Hip fracture repair||78%||81%|
While the three-year trend shows most provinces are shortening their wait lists, Alberta's are staying the same or getting longer, the report found.
Alberta Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky acknowledged Alberta needs to make improvements but said the five-year funding commitment for health should help bring down wait times. Other factors have also have an effect, he added.
"You have to also appreciate that Alberta, on average, receives a huge number of transfer inpatients from across the country and that does impact wait times here in a negative way sometimes, but as part of the Canada Health Act we're obliged to do that," he said.
CIHI has been tracking wait times since 2004 when they were identified as priorities by first ministers.