A2 – Radiation therapy wait times for cancer patients

A2 – Radiation therapy wait times for cancer patients 

Key Messages

•    Within the partner hospitals of the Rossy Cancer Network, radiation therapy is given at the MUHC and JGH. Both hospitals have consistently met the national and provincial targets for radiation therapy wait time over recent years. 


About half of cancer patients will receive radiation therapy treatment at some point along their trajectory of care. Delays in the start of radiation therapy can impact treatment effectiveness and outcomes. 

National and provincial wait time targets have been in place for more than a decade.

The Quebec government target for radiation therapy wait time is that >90% of patients should start radiotherapy within 28 days from the ready-to-treat date. The ready-to-treat date is the time at which the patient is deemed ready, by the radiation oncologist, to start radiation therapy. This then triggers the preparation phase which includes simulation and dose calculation. 

What Do the Results Mean?

Both the JGH and MUHC consistently exceed the provincial wait time target of 90% of patients starting radiotherapy treatment within 28 days of the ready-to-treat date. This includes radiation therapy for all kinds types of cancer. 

Within the 28-day targets, priorities exist, depending on the cancer type and the level of treatment urgency (<24 h,<3 days, <14 days and <28 days). 

Efforts in this Area

The radiation oncology departments at the MUHC and JGH monitor their processes and ensure that patients not only meet the 28-day targets but also that priority needs are taken into account depending on cancer type and level of treatment urgency.


Data Specifications


 % of cancer patients treated with brachytherapy or external beam radiation in 28 days or less from the time the patient is deemed medically ready to start treatment (as determined by the radiation oncologist) until the date of the 1st treatment


Système de gestion d’accès en radiothérapie (SGAS)


Total number of patients treated in radiotherapy in a delay ≤ 28 days


Total number of patients medically ready to be treated in radiotherapy




These data are reported weekly to the Ministry of Health and Social Services and reported on the MSSS website

Disclaimer: The Rossy Cancer Network has attempted to ensure the accuracy of the data that it is reporting for each of its hospitals. Values posted on this web page may change as new information becomes available or corrections are made; this may alter accumulated values.


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