(Black Press files)

(Black Press files)

B.C. patients lost nearly $500,000 due to medical wait times: report

Fraser Institute report shows Canadians as a whole lost $1.9 billion

Wait times at doctors offices and in hospital cost British Columbians nearly half a million dollars in 2017.

New stats released by the Fraser Institute Wednesday show that the number of working hours that the province’s patients miss totals up to $473,412, when using the average wage of a B.C. resident.

READ MORE: B.C. patients wait more than 26 weeks for medical care: report

Patients waited the longest for orthopaedic surgery and ophthalmological procedures, according to the report, costing $140,098 and $126,071, respectively.

Canada-wide, patients lost nearly $1.9 million waiting for medically necessary procedures, with orthopaedic surgery and ophthalmological procedures remaining the most costly.

B.C. wasn’t the worst in the country, with the median waiting time sitting at 14.1 weeks, but wait times in the province were 3.2 weeks longer than the country’s median.

Jane Henry, of North Vancouver, has been waiting for an appointment with a hip specialist for six months already, as she awaits to undergo surgery.

READ MORE: B.C. announces $175 million to cut hip, knee surgery wait times

“I had a knee replacement 4 years ago and it’s dislodged or moved and I am in excruciating pain and there are days where I cannot walk and the days I can walk I have to use a cart or cane or something to hold me up,” said Henry.

“I am told that it will be another 6 months minimum just to see this surgeon and then I’m going to have to wait for I don’t know how long for the surgery.”

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But B.C. wasn’t even the worst across Canada: Manitoba wait times sat at 16.3 weeks, Nova Scotia at 16.1 weeks and three other provinces beat out B.C. for longest wait times, while Newfoundland and Labrador had the shortest wait times at 8.7 weeks.

The average hourly wage used to calculate the wait time costs was $25.71 in B.C. and $26.16 across Canada.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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