National and provincial leaders to examine medical wait times at joint conference

    OTTAWA, Nov. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Health care and policy experts from across
the country are invited to help write the prescription for managing wait times
for health care at a two-day conference co-hosted by Kingston General Hospital
and Queen's University.
    Wait Times In Canada: Writing the 'Script for Success, to be held at the
Queen's University campus Nov. 26 and 27, will offer a unique opportunity to
combine the perspectives of leaders from two critical aspects of the
health-care sector in Canada.
    "This is no ordinary conference," says Dr. Chris Simpson, Cardiac Program
Medical Director at the Kingston General and Hotel Dieu hospitals and an
assistant professor at Queen's University. "The event will be a catalyst for
health-care policy makers, planners, administrators and providers to develop
practical and effective approaches to making a real difference in how long
Canadians wait for care across all specialties and along the entire continuum
of care."
    Together with Dr. Arthur Sweetman, Director of the School of Policy
Studies at Queen's University, Dr. Simpson organized this forum to explore
possible solutions to this high profile health-care issue. Topics include what
has been done so far to reduce wait times, what has worked, what has not and
what the Canadian health-care system must do next to make a difference.
    "When the cost to the patient, to the caregiver and to the health care
system are all taken into account, the true per-patient value of long wait
times becomes more significant," says Dr. Sweetman. "To address this issue, we
need national benchmarks to ensure Canadians have equitable access to health
care in a timely, cost-effective manner."
    Conference highlights include presentations by Globe & Mail health
columnist André Picard, former Canadian Medical Association President
Dr. Colin McMillan, and Wait Times Alliance co-chair Dr. Lorne Bellan who will
speak in part on progress to date by governments in achieving meaningful
reductions in wait times for the five initial priority areas identified in
their 2004 agreement, A Ten-year Plan to Strengthen Health Care.
    The conference also explores the issue of hospital wait times from a
policy perspective, featuring presentations by Scientific Director of Policy
Research at the Canadian Institute of Health Services Dr. Colleen Flood,
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care provincial wait time strategy lead
Dr. Alan R. Hudson and others.
    Participants will engage in interactive discussions aimed at developing
practical and concrete solutions and future directions relating to this
important issue. These solutions will be published in discussion papers after
the conference.
    The conference can accommodate up to 150 participants. For more
information or to register, call 613-533-6217 or visit

    Affiliated with Queen's University, Kingston General Hospital is a
456-bed teaching hospital that serves more than 500,000 people in southeastern
Ontario and is the community hospital for the Kingston area. KGH provides an
array of specialized acute and ambulatory clinical services including trauma,
cardiac, stroke, pediatric, perinatal, end stage renal and stem cell
transplants. Home to the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario, KGH is
dedicated to compassionate, high quality health care in a dynamic academic
research environment. It features a robust research program and provides
hands-on skill training for 1,900 health-care students annually. For more
information, visit the web site at

    Leading Care. Changing Lives.

For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Kim Kattouw, Public Affairs
Specialist, Kingston General Hospital, (613) 549-6666 ext 4687,; Alissa Clark, News and Media Services, Queen's
University, (613) 533-6000 ext. 77513,

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