Current Issues

There are always a number of current issues impacting orthopaedic surgeons and their ability to deliver the best musculoskeletal care possible to Canadians. The COA tries to keep our finger on the pulse and brief members regularly on issues impacting the field, advocacy initiatives and collaborations with other organizations.

If you have a concern that you think the COA should be following or reporting on, please feel free to contact policy@canorth.org.

Current issues that the COA is addressing right now include:

Many Canadians wait too long for access to musculoskeletal care. The COA strives to promote access to timely, appropriate orthopaedic care, and therefore continues to meet with government representatives to advocate for the adoption of innovative models of care. The COA also believes that national standards for appropriate wait times are important.

Position Statement on Access to Orthopaedic Care 

Fast Track Care
The COA is proud to announce the launch of a public awareness, government relations and advocacy campaign called ‘Fast Track Care’, tackling surgical wait times in orthopaedics now, and as we navigate the new normal after the pandemic.  You can get involved too!

#FastTrackCare was developed by Mobilize Canada, a coalition made up of the COA, the Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation, and the orthopaedic industry members of Medtech Canada.  The initiative uses simple one step resources to empower surgeons, patients and allies to engage with provincial governments to:

  • bring awareness to orthopaedic wait lists further exacerbated by COVID-19
  • remove the misconception that ‘elective’ orthopaedic procedures are optional or lifestyle surgeries
  • advocate for the prioritization of orthopaedic procedures amid the pandemic, and emphasize that Canada has the human resource capacity to ramp up procedures

On www.fasttrackcare.ca, the #FastTrackCare Campaign offers the opportunity to automatically send an e-mail to your respective Provincial MLA and Provincial Minister of Health. This e-mail can be customized with a personal impact story and emphasizes that patients are waiting in pain for restorative procedures that

are now further delayed by the pandemic.  These are tools that allow your voice to be heard.

How You Can Support #FastTrackCare

  • Direct your patients to https://fasttrackcare.ca to take action or copy/paste #FastTrackCare into the search engine of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to engage on social media.
  • The web site also features a downloadable GR 101 document that outlines ways you could advocate for your patients through the #FastTrackCare campaign.
  • Share this campaign through your own social media, web site and member communications (newsletters, journals).
  • Click below to download a printable PDF flyer that you can hand out to patients or display in your clinic, office or waiting room.


It’s time make our collective voice and message louder and stronger together.  It’s time to speak up.

It’s time to #FastTrackCare.

Access the COA’s COVID-19 online resource centre for updates on related advocacy initiatives and position statements issued by the COA, references and links to the latest evidence-based resources, public health advisories, telemedicine guidelines and more.

Did You Know?

  • 1 in 3 women presenting to fracture clinics have experienced Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) at some point in their lives
  • IPV is the most common cause of non-fatal injury to women
  • Every 6 days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner
  • 45% of women who are killed by their intimate partner have attended a hospital for treatment of injuries related to IPV within the past 2 years

The COA, the Centre for Evidence-Based Orthopaedics at McMaster University, and a team of clinician-researchers from across Canada and the United States have partnered to raise awareness about IPV victimization and provide health care professionals who see patients in the fracture clinic with education on how to identify and respond to IPV.

Click here for more info about the EDUCATE IPV Training Program and how to bring the program to your fracture clinic

Click here for the COA Intimate Partner Violence Position Statement and Best Practice Recommendations (and IPV Resources Appendix) – 2020

Despite long wait times for patients to receive musculoskeletal care, and an aging population which will further strain the health care system, there is an unacceptably high rate of unemployment among orthopaedic graduates. This poses a serious threat to the quality of patient care and to surgeons’ personal and professional wellbeing. The ever-increasing number of graduates unable to find employment in Canada are faced with chronic locum experiences and serial fellowships, and many are turning to job opportunities abroad.

Review the June 2018 COA Bulletin article for a summary of actions the COA has taken to address the unemployment crisis.