Commentaries, Waiting for Care

Our expert advisors have written opinion pieces on important health policy topics, published in leading media outlets across the country. We are making these articles available to everyone, free of charge, with a Creative Commons license, so that you may use them in your publication or on your website. See also our Commentaries in French.

Evidence is important to us, and we are committed to getting the evidence right — even when it can be interpreted in a number of ways. If you feel we have not represented the evidence accurately or fairly in these opinion pieces, please let us know. Browse our Commentaries by category, below, or view them all here.

The inconsistencies of Canadian healthcare. The inconsistencies of Canadian healthcare
By Robert Brown

I spent my life teaching actuarial science at a university. As a result, I calculated lots of numbers: averages, expected values, variances. But, they were only numbers. What I didn’t see was the individual human story behind each calculation.

Is it fair to make a public appeal for a live organ donor Is it fair to make a public appeal for a live organ donor?
By Jennifer Chandler

The public response to the appeal on behalf of Eugene Melnyk, owner of the Ottawa Senators hockey team, for a liver donor has been a heart-warming demonstration of the generosity of our community. Fortunately, a donor was found and the transplant was performed in time to save his life.

How to eliminate MRI wait lists in the public health system How to eliminate MRI wait lists in the public health system
By Nick Mohtadi

Value for money appears to be finally getting the attention it merits as Alberta’s new health minister, Stephen Mandel, takes the reins of the portfolio that is close to consuming 50% of the province’s operating budget.

Patient-centred healthcare could reduce wait times and improve the Canadian health system Patient-centred healthcare could reduce wait times and improve the Canadian health system
By Robert McMurtry

Overcrowded EDs, stressed staff and concerns about patient safety are problems witnessed more often than any health care professional would wish. How to prevent this chaos?

La population canadienne réclame des services de santé en ligne Canadians want patient online healthcare options
By Jennifer Zelmer

Eight in ten Canadian adults want online access to their own health information yet fewer than one in 10 currently have it, so says a new study published in Healthcare Papers.

Report card on wait times in Canada omits important developments Report card on wait times in Canada omits important developments
By Don Dick and Linda Woodhouse

Canadians might have been inclined to take a sedative for an anxiety attack after reading about the Wait Time Alliance’s (WTA) 2014 report card on waits for medical care in Canada. The WTA gives Canada a failing grade on the structural changes it says are needed to have the timely access to care seen in other countries.

inpatient bed in hospital When more beds aren’t enough
By Trafford Crump and Erik Hellsten

Alberta’s provincial health authority has recently come under fire by opposition party MLAs and activists alike for closing 77 Calgary long-term care beds damaged by the June floods. The angry reaction demonstrates the common misperception that a shortage of beds is the major cause of persistent waiting lists for long-term care.

Grignon_HospitalRanking_000019643703Small What’s wrong with hospital rankings?
By Michel Grignon

The CBC’s Fifth Estate recently produced an investigation on the quality of hospitals in Canada – “Rate My Hospital” – which has been enormously popular and set off discussions across the country about the need to improve our hospital services.

SutherlandandHellsten_HospitalQuality_000000274649Small Linking hospital quality to payment
By Jason Sutherland and Erik Hellsten

For several decades, the amount of funding that Ontario’s hospitals receive each year has been based more or less on the funding they received the previous year, regardless of their patients or their performance.


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