BC medical wait times set new record: Fraser Institute

Postado Dezembro 08, 2017

The think tank released its latest study on wait times Thursday, saying the median wait times across the country this year was 21.2 weeks - the longest ever recorded in its two decades of tracking.

In Canada Ontario had the shortage wait time at 15.4 weeks, while New Brunswick ranked the worst with a wait time of 41.7 weeks.

Ontario recorded the shortest wait times, at 15.6 weeks, which is a slight improvement from previous year.

"This has been a continual issue with the Fraser Institute study", he said.

Between 2012 and 2016, wait times for hip and knee replacements remained relatively stable, whereas wait times increased for cataract removal and decreased for hip fracture fix, the report says.

Barua says one thing Canada can do is try and use the same policies of those in Scandinavian counties, who spend the same amount on health care, but have significantly lower wait times.

The Fraser Institute also notes "survey responses in parts of Atlantic Canada are notably lower than in other provinces, which may result in reported median wait times being higher or lower than those actually experienced".

Jennifer D'Silva, a manager at the health institute, said the number of priority procedures performed is rising and Canada's aging population might be a factor.

Barua said the waits for radiation treatment for cancer patients are the worst in the country at three-and-a-half months.

The ministry also has an online tool that allows patients to find out the wait times for specific services at individual hospitals.

New Brunswick collects surgical wait time data and makes it available on a website, said Bruce Macfarlane, a provincial health department spokesman. It shows nine out of 10 hip replacements were completed in 53 weeks, exceeding the national benchmark of 26 weeks.

"New Brunswick has an aging population and this is impacting the demand for specific types of interventions, for example total hip and knee joint replacements", Macfarlane said in an email.

"Unfortunately I think a lot of politicians and policy members brush wait times off as just a benign inconvenience where as we forget that they can and do often have very real consequences".

However, the research also cautions that surgical demand continues to increase and jurisdictions will be challenged to meet benchmarks, Jarbeau said.