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Arthritis Society Canada launches campaign to address surgical backlogs

TORONTO, May 28, 2024 – Arthritis Society Canada launched its advocacy campaign, The Wait, today, pressing all levels of government to work together and create a pan-Canadian strategy to end the crisis of surgical backlogs across the country.

Over 99 percent of knee  and 70 percent of hip replacement surgeries are related to arthritis and a third of these individuals are waiting longer than medically recommended. According to the most recent data from Canadian Institute for Health Information, wait times are longer than they were before the pandemic.  

Despite government funding, provincial surgical backlog task forces and strategies, and an increase in joint replacement surgeries performed, in 2023, only 59% of individuals waiting for knee replacements and 66% waiting for hip replacements had their surgeries performed on time. Delays have serious consequences – they lead to more pain, increased mobility issues, impact quality of life and ability to work and may create costly and complicated surgeries.

“Canada must address its crisis of long surgical wait times - the ramifications go beyond prolonged pain,” says Trish Barbato, president & CEO at Arthritis Society Canada. “Arthritis Society Canada is committed to working with the government and communities to create long-lasting solutions to reduce the burden of arthritis. There are immediate actions we can implement now so that people waiting in debilitating pain get the surgeries they need to return to regular activities and be active members of their communities.”

Arthritis Society Canada is encouraging people living with arthritis and the broader community to learn about the impact of long surgical wait times and connect with their elected representatives to take immediate action at


About Arthritis Society Canada
Arthritis Society Canada represents the six million people in Canada living with arthritis today, and the millions more who are impacted or at risk. Fueled by the trust and support of our donors and volunteers, Arthritis Society Canada is fighting arthritis with research, advocacy, innovation, information and support. We are Canada’s largest charitable funder of cutting-edge arthritis research. We will not give up our efforts until everyone is free from the agony of arthritis. Arthritis Society Canada is accredited under Imagine Canada’s Standards Program. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, visit  

Media Contact:
Jenny Ng
Senior Manager, Public Relations & Media
Arthritis Society Canada

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