A report examining surgical wait times data in five key areas has returned a mixed bag of results when broken down by province.
It’s bad news in B.C., as the data examined by the Canadian Institute for Health Information shows wait times are getting worse in this province in three of the five priority care areas that were tracked.
Fewer people are getting hip replacements, knee replacements, and cataract surgeries within the evidence-based recommended time frame.
Wait times for hip fracture repair surgery did improve, with 91 % of people getting care in a reasonable amount of time.
For those battling cancer, the rate didn’t go up or down, but stayed steady with 93% getting the chemotherapy they need within the expected wait time.
The agency examined wait times data from the province from 2011 to 2015.
Below are info-graphics with province by province breakdowns and what the national numbers show.
Health minister downplays wait times
The province’s Health minister says things aren’t that bad.
Terry Lake says the surgical wait time numbers in the study do not include a $10-million dollar injection last fall targeted to address the issue.
“So it doesn’t include those extra surgeries that we have been doing from September until the end of this month. Some of the health authorities are taking specific action. Island Health, which in the report showed that they have not been able to meet some wait times have made some aggressive moves in terms of contracting with publicly paid but privately provided surgical services.”
Lake says he will get a look at some fresh data in a couple of weeks and is expecting it will show improvements.
Lake says the report also proves B.C. has a unique problem with an aging population and the increase in health services that are associated.