Patients in B.C. wait up to 23.2 weeks for medically necessary treatments. (Dreamstime)

Patients in B.C. wait up to 23.2 weeks for medically necessary treatments. (Dreamstime)

B.C. has the longest healthcare wait times in Canada: report

Median patient wait times are 23.2 weeks in the province, compared to 19.8 nationwide

Patients in B.C. have to wait nearly a month longer for healthcare than all other Canadians, a new study suggests.

The Fraser Institute report said Tuesday the median wait time for “medically necessary treatments” in B.C. was 23.2 weeks, compared to 19.8 weeks for the rest of the country.

That was down from an all-time high of 26.2 weeks in 2017, but more than double what it was 25 years ago.

READ MORE: B.C. launches ‘team based’ care to cut down on wait times

The conservative think tank measured the time between being seen by a general practitioner to getting treatment.

In B.C., 9.1 weeks were spent getting from a general practitioner to a specialist, and 14.1 weeks were spent waiting for treatment.

READ MORE: Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

The Maritimes had the highest median wait times for all medically needed procedures, at 45.1 weeks in New Brunswick, 39.8 on Prince Edward Island and 34.4 in Nova Scotia.

The lowest times were 15.4 weeks in Saskatchewan and 15.7 weeks in Ontario.

Canada-wide, the longest waits were for orthopaedic surgery at 39 weeks, with plastic surgery, ophthalmology and neurosurgery all next in the high 20s.

Specialists told researchers that only urgent cardiovascular surgery and radiation oncology patients were waiting for a “median clinically reasonable” amount of time.

The biggest difference was found in orthopaedic surgery, where patients waited more than double the “reasonable” wait time of 13.5 weeks.

Waiting for a diagnosis

Before they even get treatment, the report also found British Columbians wait longer than other Canadians for certain diagnostic scans.

In 2018, patients in B.C. had to wait 20 weeks for an MRI, compared to 10.6 weeks nationwide.

READ MORE: B.C. government to increase access to MRI exams

They waited six weeks for CT scans – 1.7 weeks above the national average.

However, at a four-week wait for ultrasounds, they were just one week behind the rest of the country.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shirley Falstead is running for city council in the byelection. Photo: Submitted
Shirley Falstead enters Castlegar council race

Shirley Falstead is the first candidate to aim for the council seat in byelection

This Dec. 2, 2020, file photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)
Interior Health notes 80 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

108 people in the region have died from the virus

Selkirk College’s Tenth St. Campus in Nelson is among the locations where Interior Health will deliver the COVID-19 vaccine within the West Kootenay. Photo: Selkirk College
West Kootenay vaccine locations announced

Interior Health has released a list of places to receive the COVID-19 vaccine

A West Kootenay man died in an avalanche on March 4 while snowmobiling near Mount Payne, which is indicted by the red flag. Illustration: Google Maps
Father of 3 dead after avalanche in West Kootenay

The man was snowmobiling with a group when incident occurred March 4

Last week warming temperatures were a concern for Avalanche Canada forecasters, and those trends likely contributed to an avalanche that killed a West Kootenay snowmobiler on Thursday, March 4. Jen Coulter file photo.
Warming trend contributed to Kaslo fatality: Avalanche Canada

Concern for persistent layers has reduced since then

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complaints about that condo

Most Read