Thursday, December 23, 2010

Waiting times in Canada for doctors-getting worse

During the last half of 2010 both my wife and I developed some ocular symptoms at different times. I developed more floaters and flashing lights and my wife developed some wavy lines in her visual fields. She called around 10Am to a local Eye group and was seen that day about 4PM by a retinal specialist-Diagnosis ocular migraine. When I called at 8am to the same group I was able to see a retinal specialist at 2PM-diagnosis posterior vitreous detachment with no signs of retinal detachment. Both were not actually emergencies but we were both glad we could be seen so soon and reassured.

Granted we live in a large metropolitan area with no shortage of medical specialists but even so the ease of seeing not just an eye doctor but retinal specialists was impressive.

It is an interesting contrast with recent data published by the Frazier Institute in Canada regarding wait times there to see medical specialists. See here.

Much data is presented and the entire report can be accessed. Here are some samples.
Wait time varies by specialist. For orthopedic procedures there was 35.6 week wait but happily "only" a 4.9 week wait before getting oncology treatment started. There was some good news the wait for psychiatry consultation nominally decreased from 16.8 weeks to a prompt 16 week wait.

h/t to the blog westandfirm

1 comment:

John A said...

I noted about a year ago that a Canadian man had been told that he would lose sight in one eye within six months and in the other by eighteen months, then that he would be placed on an 18-month waiting list to have the diagnosis confirmed and if it was be put on a six-month wait for surgery. Being fairly well-off, he flew to a hospital (in Buffalo, I think), and in six days was recuperating from an operation expected to save the sight in both eyes.

The fun part - he had recently retired from his post as health minister for his province.