Report: 13,581 Canadians Died On Healthcare Waiting Lists Last Year

The number of waiting list deaths is up 24% in the past four years according to data compiled by

A new report by reveals a significant increase in the number of Canadians who died on healthcare waiting lists.

According to their findings, 13,581 Canadians died waiting on surgical and diagnostic waiting lists last year.

The total in the previous year was 11,581.

And since the data was tracked beginning in 2018-2019, the number of deaths is up 24%.

The data used to find this information is not easily available, as governments are not tracking it in a central location.

Instead, used freedom of information requests to find it:

“The pandemic made a bad situation worse, but Canadians should know this was a growing problem well before COVID arrived,” said President Colin Craig. “It’s quite startling how governments aren’t tracking this problem. One would think a health minister would want to know how many patients died due to long waiting lists in their province, but no health minister in Canada knows the answer.”

Additionally, “Since April 2018, has identified a total of 41,144 cases where patients died while waiting for surgery and health procedures from the government.”

These concerning numbers are part of a broader crisis within the Canadian healthcare system. Many Canadians have been losing confidence in the system amid worsening service quality.

A new healthcare deal between the federal government and the provinces will be directing more money into the system, but deeper reform – including more of a role for private delivery – is likely needed for any long-term improvements to be seen.

Spencer Fernando

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