Photo by:

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

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

B.C. residents faced some of the country’s longest wait times to undergo surgery or receive treatment last year, leading to hundreds of thousands in lost wages.

That’s according to a report by the right-leaning think-tank group the Fraser Institute, which took a look at wait times between seeing a specialist and receiving treatment in each province and calculated the associated amount of lost wages.

In B.C., where average wait times were about 14 weeks, lost wages per patient were about $2,300 – the second highest loss compared to the rest of Canada, after Nova Scotia.

An estimated 973,000 Canadians waited more than 10 weeks to undergo surgery or receive treatments, averaging to $1.7 billion in total wages lost.

Hospital wait time costs
Create line charts

Canadian physician standards say eight weeks is considered a clinically reasonable wait time.

The report estimates calculated costs of the person waiting for treatment, and not the costs of care provided by family members or lost productivity due to mental anguish, the report reads, or other medical issues that can arise due to “long delays for treatment.”

STATE OF EMERGENCY: Hospital congestion a structural issue, ER doctors say

Wait times also reportedly differed treatment to treatment.

B.C. residents waited an average of 39 weeks for orthopaedic surgery, compared to the national average of 22 weeks, and as little as about two weeks for urgent cardiovascular surgery, compared to about one-and-a-half weeks on average across the rest of the country.

Since 2012, the costs of waiting for treatments in Canada have been increasing, according to Statistics Canada, with the shortest median wait time in 2009, at about eight weeks.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Photo by

Just Posted

Need to catch up on news? You’re covered

Every Saturday the Capital News will highlight stories from the week

Big White board school among best

Director of snow sports, Josh Foster, is one of the top instructors in Canada

Seniors prefer funeral to lifestyle planning

Survey finds 73% of seniors have a will, only 13% have long-term care plan

Okanagan College business students soar

Medal winners at Western Canadian Business Competition

UBCO civil engineer touts cohousing option

Gord Lovegrove says cohousing is sustainable social and economic lifestyle

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Canucks snap scoreless streak but fall short in 5-3 loss to Sharks

Swiss forward Timo Meier nets two, including the game-winner, to lead San Jose

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

Most Read