Send to

Choose Destination
Can J Ophthalmol. 2019 Aug;54(4):451-457. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjo.2018.10.022. Epub 2019 Jan 17.

Distribution gaps in cataract surgery care and impact on seniors across Ontario.

Author information

Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Sciences, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ont.
Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Sciences, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ont.; Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.; Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.; Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.. Electronic address:



To assess recent cataract service delivery across communities of all sizes in Ontario.


Retrospective analysis of health records.


All Ontario Health Insurance Plan users.


Raw physician Ontario Health Insurance Plan claims data for cataract surgery (E140A, E214A) from April 1, 2009, to March 31, 2014, were extracted from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) IntelliHealth database. Cataract surgery claims data were sorted by sex, by age, and by Ontario's 444 municipalities based on patient residence. Cataract surgery distribution was examined by population centre: Large Urban (≥100 000 persons), Medium (30 000-99 999 persons), Small (1000-29 999 persons), and Rural (<1000 persons) as defined by Statistics Canada. Wait times were extracted from the MOHLTC wait times database. Cataract surgery rate (CSR), defined as the number of cataract surgeries performed per million, was calculated.


Cataract surgery volumes remained unchanged from 2010 to 2014. Mean patient age was 71.6 ± 10 years. Patients lived in large urban (63%), medium (15%), small (21%), and rural (0.6%) communities. Mean wait times increased by 28% to 68.5 days, and 90th percentile wait times increased by 44% to 154.3 days. A reduction in CSR was observed among seniors aged 65-74 years (-10%) and 75+ years (-16%). Rural communities showed the largest decline (-19%). Among seniors aged ≥75 years, CSR declined the most for those living in rural communities (-25%).


Adjusting the current government policy of zero-growth in cataract surgery volumes will support growing demands for cataract care in our aging population.

Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center