A five-year-old boy is finally getting badly-needed ear surgery after waiting 14 months.
The NDP blames the long wait time on the provincial Liberals.
The child and his family were first told in Sept. 2015 that he needed the surgery in order to hear properly.
New Westminster NDP MLA Judy Darcy says, finally, or time has been found for the child in the Fraser Health region.
“A very, very simple surgical procedure that will allow him to hear, and frankly, it’s because of the failure of the Christy Clark government to invest in health care to shorten these wait lists that makes such a huge difference in a child like Leo’s life,” she said.
The boy has only been able to hear a normal speaking voice in a whisper, but regardless, has started school.
“Leo began kindergarten in September, his mother’s greatest hope was that he would have the surgery before that, so it wouldn’t interfere with his schooling, and he has now had to struggle in the classroom for a few months before and he still is before he gets this surgery,” Darcy said.
But Fraser Health says the wait time is unusual and there are other surgeons who could have performed the surgery sooner.
Spokesperson Tasleem Juma says if patients are frustrated with long surgical wait times, they can go back to their GP and ask to be referred to another surgeon with shorter wait times, information she says is available online.
“The surgical wait time tool is actually a provincial website that you can search across all the different health authorities, you can narrow it down to a specific health authority, down to a specific site as well,” she said.
Juma says Fraser Health carried out over 1,900 more surgeries last year than the year prior, and wait times are always up for discussion.
In an email to CKNW the Ministry of Health says they know waiting for surgery can be “extremely frustrating.”
“While there are waitlists for some surgeries and specific surgeons, there are often other surgeons who have shorter waitlists,” reads part of the statement.
The Ministry says more than 500,000 surgeries are preformed in B.C. each year and that more than half of these are emergency or unscheduled procedures.
They say an extra $25 million was invested last year as part of the province’s surgical services strategy, which helped complete more than 8,500 extra surgeries last year.