printemailclick to share buttonfacebooktwitterlinkedin
Radiation Treatment Wait Times

Cancer Care Ontario reports on radiation treatment wait times at each of the regional cancer centre hospitals that offer radiation services and for each type of cancer. Wait times are updated monthly.

We provide this radiation treatment wait time information to help you and your physician decide whether it is appropriate for you to be referred to a treatment facility outside your area or Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). If it is appropriate, your physician will contact the treatment centre to determine whether you can be accommodated there and to make the necessary arrangements. You are responsible for all travel and accommodation expenses incurred as a result.

Radiation Wait Time Trend in Ontario

Radiation wait times have been continually improving in Ontario since 2003. Median provincial radiation wait times fell 31%, from 6 weeks in fall 2003 to 4.1 weeks in fall 2006.

This is based on the waiting period from the time a regional cancer centre receives a referral for a patient to receive radiation treatment to the time the patient receives his or her first treatment. This period is called "referral to treatment." The median wait time is the point at which half the patients have started their radiation treatment and the other half are still waiting.

This is the final data reported for the measure "median radiation wait time for referral to treatment." We are now reporting more current, more comprehensive and more specific radiation wait time trends information in the section Wait Time Trends by Target, below.

Ontario’s Radiation Wait Times Compared with Provincial and Territorial (PT) Benchmark

In December 2005, the Provincial and Territorial (PT) health ministers established common wait time benchmarks for various procedures and services including radiation treatment. The PT benchmark is for the waiting time period from when a patient is ready for radiation treatment until the patient receives his or her first treatment – also called "ready to treat to treatment."

The PT benchmark for radiation treatment is that a patient will receive the first treatment within four weeks (28 days) of being ready to treat.

For the period of April to September 2009, 96.0% of Ontario patients started radiation treatment within four weeks of being ready to treat, compared with 76.2% in September 2005, an improvement of 19.8%.

Cancer Care Ontario reports the proportion of patients who are being seen or receiving radiation treatment within the recommended timeframe or target. Wait times are reported by two intervals:

  • Referral to consult: The time between a referral to a specialist to the time that specialist consults with the patient.
  • Ready to treat to treatment: The time from when the specialist is confident the patient is ready to begin treatment to the time the patient receives treatment.

March 2016 to August 2017

View Provincial Trend Chart

Quarterly Trends by Target by Regional Cancer Centre

View Referral to Consult Wait Times Chart

View Ready To Treat to Treatment Chart

Quarterly Trends by Target by Type of Cancer

(click on the name to see wait times by cancer centre)

Referral to Consult Trends

Ready to Treat to Treatment Trends

Wait times data include patients who received prior chemotherapy and other treatment, and had planned waits due to personal or work-related reasons.

Radiation Treatment Wait Times – Current Month

Provincial Wait Times: Intervals by Type of Cancer

Radiation Therapy Wait Time by Regional Cancer Centre

Referral to Consult - Percent of Patients Seen Within Target (14 days)
View RCP Referral to Consult Chart

Radiation Therapy Wait Time by Regional Cancer Centre
Ready to Treat to Treatment - Percent of Patients Treated Within Target (1, 7, 14 days)
View RCP Ready to Treat to Treatment Chart

Radiation Wait Times by Type of Cancer

Data Quality

Both the "referral to consult" and the "ready to treat to treatment" intervals include all new patients seen or treated within that time period. Data are available from April 2007 onward.

Due to system upgrade, Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario will delay their radiation data submission. As a result, radiation treatment wait time from ready to treat to treatment is not available for Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario for August 2017.

Last modified: Wed, Oct 25, 2017
cancer care ontario | action cancer ontario   620 University Avenue Toronto Ontario, Canada M5G 2L7   Phone: 416.971.9800 Fax: 416.971.6888

Please help improve the quality of our website by answering 10 brief questions in our online survey. Would you like to participate?