London Health Sciences Centre reduces cancer surgery wait times by 50 per cent

Dr. Ott

June 5, 2024

Through several focused strategies and a dedicated team effort, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) has improved cancer surgery wait times at the Verspeeten Family Cancer Centre by 50 per cent over the past year for non-urgent and non-emergent patients. 

"We know how challenging it is for patients with cancer and their families to wait for surgery and we wanted to do everything we could to improve our times," said Dr. Michael Ott, Department Head, Oncology, LHSC. "This involved finding new ways to maximize our current resources and improve efficiencies - like improving our referral systems, optimizing our data used in making decisions, and dedicating more operating room time for cancer surgeries." 

The impact of these efforts is clear. As of March 2024 90 per cent of all oncology patients receive their surgery within the targeted wait time, according to the urgency of their diagnosis. 

Dr. Ott notes that, "We won't settle until every patient gets care within the appropriate target, and we continue the work to improve." 

While patients identified as high priority have largely been seen within the recommended surgical wait time, making this reduction in wait times is even more impactful because these improvements affect patients who are more likely to encounter extended waits across the health-care system. 

"These improvements reflect our commitment to providing timely and efficient care to a growing number of patients across southwestern Ontario," said Dr. Kevin Chan, Corporate Medical Executive, LHSC. 

LHSC is home to the regional cancer centre responsible for providing the inpatient and outpatient care, including surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, as well as a full range of support services and the advancement of groundbreaking research. We remain committed to investing resources to further enhance the patient experience - from diagnosis to treatment.