Wait Times for Treatment Increase
Prince George, B.C.- The Fraser Institute has issued a new report which indicates patients having elective surgery are waiting longer than ever to have the procedures done.
Based on interviews with specialists in 12 medical specialties in 10 provinces, the report “Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada” indicates that nationally, the median wait time between being referred by a General Practitioner to treatment by a specialist has increased to 20 weeks this year, compared to 18.3 weeks in 2015.
The report also indicates it is taking longer to get that first consultation with a specialist. The wait time was 8.5 weeks last year, and this year it has grown to 9.4 weeks.
The wait times vary among Provinces with Ontario patients having the shortest wait time to treatment at 15.6 weeks, and New Brunswick facing the longest at 38.8.
In B.C. the wait time from GP referral to treatment by a specialist is listed at 25.2 weeks
GP Referral to Specialist Treatment Median wait Times By Province:
- New Brunswick 38.8
- Nova Scotia 34.8
- P.E.I 31.4
- Nfld/Labrador 26.
- B.C. 25*
- Alberta 22.9
- Manitoba 20.6
- Quebec 18.9
- Saskatchewan 16.6
- Ontario 15.6
*While the BC Ministry of Health does have a website that outlines the most current wait times for elective surgery in this Province in specific Health Authority regions, that website was not available as this story was being written. The site is “down for maintenance” so immediate numbers for the Northern Health region are not available. A follow up story will be written when those numbers become available.
The Fraser Institute’s report also notes wait times differ greatly depending on the area of specialty. The median wait time for medical oncology (cancer) treatment is 3.7 weeks, followed by radiation treatment which has a wait time of 4.1 weeks.