Saskatchewan has the second lowest wait time for elective health care according to a new study by the Fraser Institute.

The study looked at the time it takes for a patient to be referred from their general practitioner to a specialist, and then how long it takes for that patient to receive treatment. They found that Saskatchewan patients have to wait about 19.8 weeks on average, taking about 9.7 weeks to get to the specialist and another 10.1 weeks for treatment.

On the Alberta side, the wait is substantially longer, at 26.5 weeks on average. According to the study, it takes approximately 12 weeks to see a specialist and 14.4 weeks after that for treatment in the province.

Those numbers also indicate that wait times are on the rise. Wait time from the GP to the specialist is up one week in Saskatchewan and over two weeks in Alberta. The specialist to treatment time has also gone up from 7.9 weeks in Saskatchewan and 12.7 in Alberta.

In terms of programs, cancer treatments had the lowest wait time of between 3.2 and 3.9 weeks. Treatments like orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery had the highest with 41.7 weeks and 32.9 respectively.

Ontario has the shortest overall wait time average at 15.4. New Brunswick has the highest at 41.7.

Elective Care Wait Times by Province. From the Fraser Institute report.