Canadians waiting for over 1 MILLION procedures.
A new Fraser Institute report shows healthcare wait times continue to worsen.
The median wait time is now 21.2 weeks, the longest wait ever found in over 20 years.
Nationally, things have even worsened since 2016, when the average wait was 20 weeks.
Waits are now more than twice as long as in 1993, when the average wait was 9.3 weeks.
The worst waits are in New Brunswick (41.7% weeks), and best in Ontario (15.4% weeks). However, even the Ontario number is far worse than the average wait time in previous decades.
Canadians waiting for over $1 MILLION procedures
The report estimates that Canadians are waiting for 1,040,791 medical procedures in the 10 provinces. Notably, doctors say that just 11.5% of those on the waiting list are there because doctors asked for a delay, meaning the real issue is an ineffective system overall.
These waits are not harmless, as the Fraser Institute makes clear:
“Research has repeatedly indicated that wait times for medically necessary treatment are not benign inconveniences. Wait times can, and do, have serious consequences such as increased pain, suffering, and mental anguish. In certain instances, they can also result in poorer medical outcomes—transforming potentially reversible illnesses or injuries into chronic, irreversible conditions, or even permanent disabilities. In many instances, patients may also have to forgo their wages while they wait for treatment, resulting in an economic cost to the individuals themselves and the economy in general.”
While the provinces are responsible for enacting healthcare policy, significant funding decisions and regulations are handled at the federal level. Additionally, the Trudeau government plan to drastically increase immigration levels while opening our borders to illegal crossings will add to the pressure on the already buckling healthcare system.
This report also raises serious questions about federal government spending. After all, tens of billions of spending on so-called “social infrastructure” should be having a positive impact on our country overall, including the healthcare system.
Instead, things are getting worse.
Solving this problem will take a few things, including the redirection of foreign aid towards helping Canadians, immigration policies that don’t add to the burden on our social programs, far tougher accountability for where money is going within the system, and a renewed emphasis on physical activity for young Canadians as a long-term measure.
So far, neither provincial governments nor the federal government has shown any interest in those changes, and as a result, our healthcare system continues to decline.