ARCHIVED - National Wait Times Initiative (NWTI)

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The National Wait Times Initiative (NWTI) was announced by the federal government in February 2005.  Its overall goal was to support the commitments to reduce wait times made by First Ministers in the 2004 Health Accord.  Consistent with the federal role in health care, the NWTI was designed to support research, knowledge development and dissemination to inform the development of policies, best practices, programs, and services aimed at improving access to care and reducing wait times. 

The NWTI provided $13 million in funding over three years (2006-07 to 2008-09), through contribution agreements or professional service contracts, and collaboration with other federal partners, to thirty-three projects.  Funded projects addressed a variety of relevant issues, ranging from surgical wait times for children, to appropriate use of diagnostic imaging and diabetic care on First Nations reserves.  The NWTI funded work on strategies to address wait times for hip and knee replacements, wait times issues in mental health, civil litigation implications of Patient Wait Times Guarantees and other issues.  The NWTI also supported conferences and workshops, including the Taming of the Queue conferences of the Canadian Medical Association, and the Conference on Timely Access to Care, which brought together health ministers, senior government officials, experts and healthcare providers from across the country to discuss progress in addressing wait times and continuing challenges.  In addition, the NWTI helped fund the work of the Federal Advisor on Wait Times.

In the following sections, you will find further information on the funded projects and a synthesis of the findings, challenges and lessons learned identified through them, organized under ten cross-cutting themes.

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