printemailclick to share buttonfacebooktwitterlinkedin
Wait Times Highlights


Cancer Care Ontario has been publicly reporting radiation treatment wait times since 2004.

Provincial wait times for radiation treatment have steadily and significantly improved since 2003 as the result of better planning and new investments in cancer centres, radiation equipment replacement and personnel. The median provincial radiation wait times (from the time a patient is referred to a specialist to when they received treatment) dropped 31%, from 42 days (6 weeks) to 29 days (4.1 weeks) from fall 2003 to fall 2006.

As of April 2007, Cancer Care Ontario began reporting not only whether radiation wait times are improving, but also whether patients are being treated in the recommended timeframe (target) based on the urgency of their cancer. Between April 2007 and December 2007, there was a 3.9 % improvement in the number of patients being referred to and seen by a radiation specialist within the target wait time. During the same period there was a 13.7% improvement across the province in the number of patients receiving treatment within the target wait time from when they were ready for treatment.

Systemic Treatment (Chemotherapy)

Over the last four years systemic treatment wait times have remained largely unchanged, despite a growing number of patients being treated with more cancer drugs. Ontario requires more resources - particularly medical oncologists and  other oncology professionals – and infrastructure to keep pace with the growing number of patients requiring systemic treatment. We also need to improve the way we distribute and organize chemotherapy services so that more patients have more access to high quality chemotherapy close to home.

Cancer Care Ontario is spearheading a Regional Systemic Treatment Plan for the province to improve the safety and quality of chemotherapy services and the timeliness of and access to chemotherapy as close to home as possible.

Cancer Surgery

Cancer surgery wait times have steadily improved since August 2005 when the province began publicly reporting wait times on the Wait Time Strategy web site. Significantly more cancer surgeries are being performed as a result of the government’s Wait Time Strategy. For the latest cancer surgery wait times by type of cancer and in each Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) go to:

Ontario now has a system to track, measure, manage and publicly report wait times in near real-time. At the same time, wait time reduction funding for cancer surgery to hospitals is being tied to quality improvement including adopting clinical guidelines and consistent standards of care.

Last modified: Thu, Nov 10, 2011
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?