Patient deaths awaiting treatment surge in Ontario

More people are dying while on waiting lists for treatment in Ontario, but the province’s latest health data shows the situation has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, think tank says said.

Released on August 15th, analysis Ontario health data, conducted by, shows a steep rise in the number of patients dying while waiting for surgery, CT scans and MRI scans in 2021-2022.

The Institute conducts research on government policies and shares how those policies affect Canadians’ everyday lives. Health data was obtained through Freedom of Information Request.

“The response to freedom of information shows that deaths from waiting lists for the aforementioned medical services have increased significantly over the past five years,” the think tank said.

and Email reply In late July, Ontario Health provided the lab with data showing that 1,417 patients died while waiting for surgery between January 4, 2021 and March 31 of this year. .

A similar trend was seen for diagnostic tests, with 5,404 deaths waiting for CT scans and 1,993 deaths waiting for MRIs.

need details said health officials would not disclose details about which surgery the patient was awaiting when he died.

“The Ontario Department of Health has refused to release similar information on the grounds of patient confidentiality,” the think tank said, adding that it had filed a complaint with the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner “in an attempt to obtain additional details.” He added that he had filed a complaint.

Upon request of the Institute for a detailed breakdown, e-mail On Sept. 8, 2021, the Ontario Department of Health said the agency could only provide “aggregated figures” by fiscal year.

“In an email dated July 20, 2021, Ontario Health clarified that it will be able to provide the total number of patients who died on the waiting list for surgery or diagnostic scans for each fiscal year beginning fiscal year 2010-2011. from 2020 to fiscal year 2020-2021,” the email said. countered, saying other state health agencies could.

“States like Nova Scotia and Alberta can provide more detailed information, so why not Ontario?” Institute Said In a tweet on August 15th.

“A Growing Problem”

In a recent email to on July 21, the Ontario Department of Health said the data provided did not indicate that the surgery or diagnostic test was “to save lives.” said.

“Mortality is influenced by many complex and interrelated clinical, socioeconomic and cultural factors,” the agency said.

“The surgery statistics above do not indicate that the surgery was intended to be life-saving, nor do they indicate that the patient died as a result of an extended surgery waiting list.”

Colin Craig, president of, said: “Government rations and mismanagement of health care are killing some patients and sacrificing the quality of life at the end of life for many.” increase.

“For decades we’ve been throwing more and more money into the health care system, and it hasn’t worked. Ontario health data shows waiting-list deaths were a big problem before the pandemic started. It shows that it was,” he said in a statement.

Craig said he hoped Ontario’s Health Minister Sylvia Jones would look into the numbers “more deeply.”

“How many of these patients died from potentially life-saving procedures? How many people developed depression or mental health problems because they waited so long for treatment?” he asked.

“These are the key answers to find.”

Isaac Theo


Isaac Teo is a Toronto-based reporter for the Epoch Times.