Walk-in woes: BC clinics have the longest wait times in Canada

Apr 22 2022, 6:01 pm

If you live in BC, you’ll have to wait longer than anyone else in the country to get help at a walk-in clinic, according to new research.

A Canadian tech company used by over 70% of walk-in medical clinics across the country made its own Walk-in Clinic Wait Time Index, and British Columbia did not fare well compared to other provinces. In fact, we did the worst nationwide.

Medimap’s index collected data from over 1,200 walk-in clinics across Canada in 2021.

It found that, on average, British Columbians had to wait 58 minutes to see a physician at a walk-in clinic last year. 

That represents an increase of 15 minutes from 2019 and more than double the national average of 25 minutes.

And of the top 10 cities with the longest average wait times across the country, six were in BC.

The longest wait time was reported in Victoria, with a whopping estimate of over 2.5 hours — specifically, 161 minutes.

Kelowna, Maple Ridge, White Rock, North Vancouver, and Vancouver also recorded average wait times that were 60 minutes or longer, the index says. In Port Coquitlam, the wait was estimated at 49 minutes. 

“Many Canadians rely on walk-in clinics when they need to see a doctor. We created Medimap as a simple solution that saves time and frustration for these people when they need access to care,” said Blake Adam, CEO and Founder of Medimap.

“By partnering with clinic owners to provide patients with easy access to wait times at clinics in their community we are able to significantly improve access to care and contribute to a more efficient health care system.”

Oddly, there are some BC cities among those with the shortest wait times across Canada, with Coquitlam and Abbotsford reporting under 15 minutes.

In Delta, the index averaged a wait time of 14 minutes. In Surrey, it was about 40 minutes.

Ontario and Alberta saw the shortest average wait times for the year. In Ontario, patients only had to wait about 15 minutes to see a physician. That number jumped to around 18 minutes for patients in Alberta. 

Both Ontario’s and Alberta’s wait times improved over the past two years. So did Manitoba’s with an average wait time of 20 minutes and Saskatchewan’s with 31 minutes.

For more information, check out the index online.

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