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Survey: Canadian wait times some of the longest in Commonwealth nations

Last Updated Feb 17, 2017 at 5:21 am MDT


How long do you wait to see your family doctor? Or sit in an emergency room?

New data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information found our often frustrating wait times are longer than other comparable health care systems.

Fewer than half of Canadians surveyed said they were able to make same-day or next-day appointments with their family doctor.

Under 35 per cent said they could access health care in the evening and weekend hours.

These numbers are well behind peer countries like New Zealand and the Netherlands.

More than 40 per cent of those surveyed said they’ve waited in the emergency room for conditions that could have been seen by their family doctor, but it’s not the worst offender.

Over 55 per cent said they have waited four weeks or more to see a specialist.

However, some things are going right.

“Most of their family physicians practice in teams and there has been a concerted effort in Canada, across a number of provinces, to increase family practice teams and the team environment,” said Director of Health Systems Tracy Johnson. “In general, what this does is provide more access to a greater number of people.”

In addition, over 90 per cent of Canadians said they have access to a doctor or primary health care provider.