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Cancer Survival Rates in Ontario among Highest in the World


The Cancer System Quality Index continues to effectively shape Ontario’s world-class cancer system

Toronto, ON (May 20, 2015) – The Cancer Quality Council of Ontario released today the results of the 2015 Cancer System Quality Index (CSQI), an interactive tool used to measure the performance of the cancer system in Ontario. The release indicates that Ontario’s cancer survival rates, when compared with other provinces and international jurisdictions, are among the highest in the world. Notably, among selected countries with similar socio-economic status and health care systems, Ontario had the highest relative survival ratio for cancer of the colon and rectum and also had a high ranking for both prostate and lung cancer survival.

The CSQI is a quality improvement tool that identifies gaps in the cancer system and drives improvement through regional, provincial, national and international benchmarking. This is the sixth year that the tool has showcased benchmarks for Ontario’s performance. The CSQI evolves year over year and informs Cancer Care Ontario’s overall action plan, helping to determine priorities and allocation of resources. Overall, the CSQI 2015 reports improvement in survival rates for the most common cancers in Ontario. Together with an aging and growing population, this challenges the province to further consider how best to support and care for survivors in the years to come.

“The evidence produced by CSQI informs the provincial cancer strategy,” said Virginia McLaughlin, Chair of the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario. “One of the key recommendations in today’s report is that Ontario builds upon our solid foundation, and our improvement in survival and access to care, and evolves other measures such as those to report on integrated wait times from a patient perspective. ”

Due to strong partnerships throughout the entire health system and government investment, wait times have improved significantly since the launch of the Wait Times Strategy in 2004. To better understand wait times from a patient perspective CSQI looks to measure wait times spanning the entire patient journey beginning with when a person becomes symptomatic right through to treatment.

“In Ontario, we have very high standards for cancer care. The strength of our system can be attributed to our willingness to collaborate around common goals and to our ongoing dedication to providing the best care possible,” said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. “CSQI plays an important role by helping guide the healthcare community as it plans practical improvements that have a positive impact.”

Ontario has made substantial investments in its provincial cancer strategy and it would be beneficial to improve measurements of those investments. The CSQI wants to ensure that efficiency within the system can be measured and better understood. This will ultimately add value to the cancer system and improve the overall patient experience.

“Results from this year’s CSQI demonstrate that Ontarians can continue to be confident in their cancer system.” said Michael Sherar, President and CEO, Cancer Care Ontario. “We will use the 2015 results to continue to drive excellence through the many initiatives already underway across the cancer journey.”

The CSQI 2015 includes a total of 34 indicators spanning the cancer journey from screening to survivorship as well as end-of-life care, along with several measures related to cancer prevention. Visit to review all the indicators and this year’s interactive release.

About the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario

The Cancer Quality Council of Ontario, established in 2002 by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), is an arm’s length advisory group to Cancer Care Ontario (CCO), set up to provide advice to CCO and the MOHLTC in their efforts to improve the quality of cancer care in the province. The CQCO has a mandate to monitor and report publicly on the performance of the Ontario cancer system annually via the Cancer System Quality Index and provides international comparisons and benchmarking to allow Ontario to learn from other jurisdictions. The CQCO is composed of healthcare providers, cancer survivors, family members and experts in the areas of oncology, health system policy, performance measurement, health services research and health care governance. For more information on the CQCO, go to About CQCO.

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Carla Maggiotto
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