Accreditation Canada to inspect new DI centres
January 24, 2024
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – In a bid to allow patients to get the surgeries and treatment they need in a more timely manner, Ontario has tapped an assessment body as the inspection body that will oversee community surgical and diagnostic centres. Starting April 1, 2024, Accreditation Canada will be responsible for ensuring the highest quality standards and strong oversight of the 900+ current and all future such centres in the province.
“When it comes to reducing wait times for surgeries, we aren’t accepting a status quo that leaves too many people waiting too long for care,” said Sylvia Jones (pictured), deputy premier and minister of health.
“Instead, our government is expanding community surgical and diagnostic centres so we can reduce wait times by doing more surgeries in state-of-the-art, convenient and safe facilities, always paid for by your OHIP card, never your credit card.”
This comes after, in 2023, Ontario had a median wait time of 21.6 weeks, lower than the national figure of 27.7 weeks between a referral from a general practitioner and receipt of treatment, according to the Fraser Institute.
The data for Canada overall represents the longest delay in the survey’s history, and is 198% longer than the 9.3 weeks Canadian patients could expect to wait in 1993, according to the think tank. In 2023, Canadian patients waited a total of 27.4 weeks for medical treatment, according to the Fraser Institute – compared to 25.6 weeks reported in 2021.
Ontario chose Accreditation Canada to develop an enhanced oversight and quality assurance program for centres that will have the same strong requirements as public hospitals “in order to improve quality standards at facilities and ensure consistent patient safety and quality healthcare,” according to the provincial government.
Over the coming weeks, Ontario will consult with healthcare sector partners, regulatory colleges representing providers and patients and families on the development of the new oversight and quality assurance program.
Beginning in Spring 2024, the government will also continue expanding the number of community surgical and diagnostic centres licensed in the province to deliver additional OHIP insured services to people closer to home, including more MRI/CT scans, GI endoscopies and orthopedic surgeries.
In 2023, Ontario had the shortest surgical wait times of all provinces, with nearly 80% of people receiving their procedure within clinically recommended target times, according to the provincial government.
Since March 2022, there have been 16,000 fewer people waiting for the surgeries they need in the province.
Also, last year, testing turnaround times for cervical cancer returned to the pre-pandemic standard of 10 to 14 days.
The province is also reaching 112 per cent of pre-pandemic levels completion rates of pediatric surgeries, as of December 2023, and increasing diagnostic imaging capacity by an additional 97,767 MRI and 116,443 CT operating hours.
SOURCE: Jim Wilson