Skip to content

Waiting for Healthcare

Waiting for Healthcare

We will strive to create an optimized healthcare system to eliminate detrimental waiting periods for people

  • WHAT IF you were able to have all appropriate diagnostics done prior to seeing a specialist instead of waiting?
  • WHAT IF there were no unnecessary handoffs and duplication within care coordination?
  • WHAT IF the gap in time from sharing symptoms with your doctor, to receiving a diagnosis was shorter?
  • WHAT IF you could get the tests you need, when you need them?

The need to reduce healthcare wait times and enable timely access to treatment for patients in Canada is more critical than ever as we grapple not only with the longstanding issue of lengthy wait times, but the exacerbation of them under COVID-19. 

Canada’s health systems need solutions now.

According to the latest issue of Waiting your Turn1, 1,425,517 Canadians living across the 10 provinces, were waiting for procedures in 2021. 

“Research has repeatedly indicated that wait times for medically necessary treatment are not benign inconveniences. Wait times can, and do, have serious consequences such as increased pain, suffering, and mental anguish. In certain instances, they can also result in poorer medical outcomes—transforming potentially reversible illnesses or injuries into chronic, irreversible conditions, or even permanent disabilities. In many instances, patients may also have to forgo their wages while they wait for treatment, resulting in an economic cost to the individuals themselves and the economy in general.”

Hence, a byproduct of long wait times is a sicker population, needing more care at greater expense to both the individual and the system.

Soaring with Roche is on a mission to accelerate meaningful progress in health, reimagining a health system that reduces detrimental waiting times. As we explore ways to help Canadians in this area, we do so with the understanding that accessing the right care when it’s needed most can mean the difference between life and death.

In fact, that reality has become even more stark with the impact of COVID-19.

As we know, health systems and healthcare workers have been, and continue to be, overburdened in managing the pandemic response itself to the point where diagnosis, treatment, and management of other diseases, particularly cancer, is delayed or missed altogether.

A recent report published in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network found that 12,601 fewer people were diagnosed with cancer in Ontario from March to September 2020 compared to previous years (a 34 per cent drop)2 – and that’s just in diagnosis. According to the Canadian Medical Association, last year alone 327,800 procedures were backlogged in Canada, with impacts that spanned across excess deaths, mismanagement of chronic disease, cancer screenings and home care assessments.3

We believe through the power of community and collaboration, we can find meaningful solutions to help alleviate unnecessary waiting times. Soaring with Roche aims to tackle the issue of healthcare waiting time at the root causes. We will launch pilot projects using open innovation to address challenges such as:

  • Access to the right care early in the diagnosis
  • Accessible and accurate resources that direct patients to appropriate care
  • Improving restrictive policies that cause delays and add complexity to the healthcare system 

Join our community today as we embark on a mission to reimagine the health journey for optimal care.

Stay connected through the newsletter to learn more about how you can be a part of the pilots as they are planned and launched.

1. Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, 2021. Report Available at

2. Eskander et al. “Incident Cancer Detection During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, February 2022. Available at

3. Canadian Medical Association. A struggling system: Understanding the health care impacts of the pandemic. Available at

Stay Connected

Effective September 20, 2022, the Soaring with Roche program has been closed. 


At Roche, we believe collaboration is critical to tackling the healthcare challenges of today and tomorrow. But we acknowledge there are times when others may be better positioned to champion or lead the initiatives that we, too, believe in. We also recognize that we need to channel both our human and financial resources to where they will have the greatest impact.

We are grateful for the partnerships we’ve formed through the Soaring with Roche program as well as all we have learned. We carry those learnings forward to other projects and remain inspired by the community’s commitment to better healthcare and to a system that is ready for the innovation of the future. Roche Canada’s commitment to the future of healthcare does not waver – it is being redirected. 


Thank you for your interest. We are eager to continue our work together through other projects and opportunities.