Record-High Wait Lists for Cancer, Other Surgeries in Quebec

In Quebec, wait lists for surgery, including cancer operations and nonelective surgery, are increasing. The number of patients waiting for cancer surgery has risen from 4160 in January to 4401 in October, and elective surgery wait lists have grown by about 2000 patients. This has led to concerns about patients being lost due to long waits. The Quebec government targets 90% of cancer surgery to be performed within 28 days and 100% within 56 days. Factors contributing to the delays include rotating nurses’ strikes, pandemic impacts, flu seasons, and staff shortages. To address the crisis, the government has adopted healthcare reform legislation and plans to appoint a new CEO for the health system. There are discussions about sending patients to other provinces or the US for surgery, and individual health systems are working to ensure urgent cases are not impacted.

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