A Closer Look at Wait Times for Cataract Surgery
What is a wait time?
A wait time is the amount of time you have to wait for your surgery. Your wait is measured from the time your surgeon decides you are a candidate for surgery to the time you have your surgery.
Why does The Ottawa Hospital have wait times for cataract surgery?
Wait times happen because:
- There may be more patients than the hospital can treat at any given time.
- The population of Eastern Ontario is getting older, leading to higher demand for cataract surgery.
- Some surgeons must give priority to patients with more urgent or complex eye conditions, leading to a longer-than-usual wait time for cataract surgery.
How long will you wait if you have cataracts removed at The Ottawa Hospital?
At The Ottawa Hospital, more than half of all patients waiting for cataract surgery get the procedure within three months, which is well within the provincial target of six months (182 days). Approximately nine out of 10 patients get their surgery within six months. A small number may wait longer.
How long you wait depends on:
- How many other patients your surgeon has to treat. Some specialists have shorter wait times than others.
- How the hospital schedules surgeries. This depends on staff, equipment and patient facilities.
- How many other people in your community need cataract surgery at any given time.
Do better surgeons have longer waiting lists?
All surgeons working in the province meet Ontario’s standards of training and ability when:
- The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (the body that regulates the practice of medicine in Ontario to protect and serve the public interest) licenses them to practice medicine in Ontario, and
- A hospital grants them privileges by allowing them to treat patients within that hospital.
Some surgeons may have longer wait times because:
- They have less operating room time.
- They may have more complex cases to treat.
If you have a long wait time, what can you do?
The chart below lists the maximum wait time by surgeon for nine out of 10 patients. If you are looking for the fastest route to surgery, you can ask:
- to be referred to another surgeon with a shorter waiting list
- to be on stand-by for surgery on short notice, if a last-minute opening becomes available.
Your referring optometrist can talk with you about these options. If your condition changes while you are waiting for surgery let your doctor know. Your doctor can re-assess your condition and decide if waiting for surgery will affect your health.
|Cataract Surgery Wait Times by Surgeon|
|Treating HCP||Maximum Wait Time in Days for Nine out of 10 Patients (as of December 25th, 2020)|
Last updated on: January 4th, 2021