What Creates Canadian Wait Lists?

What Creates Canadian Wait Lists?  We are at the conclusion of our blogs this month for the 2017 wait times.  But what actually creates these wait lists and wait times?

Reasons That Might Suggest Why

There is a plethora of reasons why they occur across the country but here are a few possibilities that might support reasons as to why.

  1.   All physicians will see patients in the manner they see fit.  It can be based on their patient case loads, comparison to their other patients or simply triaged.  As much as we don’t want to believe it, some physicians will help fellow colleagues or friends/family out ahead of their actual patients.
  2. Lack of resources in a given province.  When this happens, the patient may be referred to another province for treatment.  If this happens, you become part of their wait list
  3. Rationing.  By this, we mean that there may be a doctor available to do another surgery and OR time available, however, each province sets the amount of patients seen or surgeries done in a given day.  If they have already met that quota, then they cannot treat any further patients until the next day.  This can create a back log that just keeps compounding on each other.
  4. Lack of available General Practitioner (GP) and Specialists. [ctt template=”3″ link=”Siu77″ via=”yes” ]Per a 2014 CBC Health News article, 4.4MM Canadians do not have a GP.(1) [/ctt]When you don’t have access to a GP or Specialist, people tend to utilize the ER for minor things as opposed to true emergencies.  This then creates long waits in the ER and takes valuable time away from those individuals who truly have an emergency.
  5. Lack of money.  Each province has their own budget of how much they spend on heath care resources.  Many of them have traditionally been fiscally conservative in how the money is spent.
  6. The aging Baby Boomer population.  As the Baby Boomers age, the need for more services are required that come with that aging process.  ‘The number of beds available for them may not be enough or may be blocked for budget reasons.  Community care is also limited.’(1)


Some experts have argued that changes need to be made to model other single payor systems in going to a 2-Tiered system which allows for privatization, using a cost sharing model for certain treatments or having to pay a co-pay for utilizing your GP or visiting the ER.  The Fraser Institute reported wait times the highest they’ve been in the 26 years they have been tracking it. Bacchus Barua(2) from the Frasier Institute has said [ctt template=”3″ link=”MDpxc” via=”yes” ]‘Canada is one of the highest spenders on health care in the developing world, but still has some of the longest wait times for treatment’.[/ctt] Although there are probably many other theories on where the medical wait lists began and most likely a combination of things there is no denying they exit.

We are experts at finding alternate, affordable, options if you are on a wait list.   Contact Health Vantis to see how we can help you find them!  877-344-3544 or


  1. CBC News/Health:
  2. Bacchus Barua:

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2017 Canadian Wait Lists: Broken Down By Province

2017 Canadian Wait Lists: Broken Down By Province…

In the 2 previous blogs this month, we gave a general overview of wait times for 2017 as well as a breakdown per specialty.  This week we’d like to provide the breakdown for each province.  The graph below indicates the wait time for each province broken down into: general practitioner (GP) to specialist, specialist to treatment and the total amount of time combined with these 2 factors.

Some of the changes in the first segment for a referral from a general practitioner (GP) to a specialist has risen from 9.4 weeks in 2016 to 10.2 weeks in 2017.  This is 177% higher than what it was in 1993.   The provinces where this increase has occurred are Manitoba, Ontario and Newfoundland & Labrador.

In the second segment of seeing a specialist and actual treatment has also increased from 10.6 weeks in 2016 to 10.9 weeks in 2017.  This is 95% higher than it was in 1993.

The overall wait time has increased in all provinces with the exclusion of British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador where the wait time decreased slightly.  Despite the decreases for these provinces, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are still leading the provinces with the longest wait times.

What causes these wait times?  Come back next week for more information on likely reasons the wait lists have existed and continue to rise.

For more information about Health Vantis and how we can help if you are on a wait list, contact us at 877-344-3544 or

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2017 Canadian Wait Lists: Broken Down By Specialty

2017 Canadian Wait Lists: Broken Down By Specialty:

Last week we discussed the new numbers for the 2017 Canadian wait lists.  This week we are going to break this down by speciality, how long it takes to see a specialist and point of treatment.  They are as follows:








The largest INCREASES and DECREASES from 2016 to 2017 are as follows:


Keep in mind, these are averages across Canada. Many provinces have much lower wait times, however, there are some that have even higher wait times.  Come back next week as we will break each down by province.

For more information or if you are someone on this list being affected by these wait times, please give Health Vantis a call to see how we can help assist!  or Toll-Free 877-344-3544

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2017 Canadian Wait Lists and Wait Times

2017 Canadian Wait Lists and Wait Times

Waiting for medical treatment in Canada has been an issue in the health care system for many years.  The Fraser Institute has been studying and reporting the statistics for these wait times for over 2 decades.  This month we will be breaking these findings down in our weekly Wednesday blog.  The 2017 findings are out and are as follows presented by weeks:














  • The number of Canadians on a wait list went from 973,505 in 2016 to 1,040,791 for 2017.
  • Average Total wait from referral to specialist to point of treatment is now 21.2 weeks 2017 which is 128% higher than in 1993.

What does this translate to outside of the obvious?  With prolonged wait times for your health, it can also affect many other aspects in your life.  Lengthy waits have consequences such as increased pain that may be treated with narcotics.  These have the potential to develop addiction which is a whole other set of issues.  It may also cause mental anguish, lost wages from the inability to work, or poorer medical outcomes potentially transforming reversible illness or injuries in to chronic, irreversible conditions that may result in permanent disabilities.

While Health Vantis supports the health care system, we also support making your health a priority.  If the system has put you on a wait list, please contact us to see what we can do to help.  Something as simple as having a private diagnostic test can make things move much faster for you.  Call us toll-free at 877-344-3544 for a complimentary 1-hour consultation to discuss how.  You can also reach us at or by visiting our website

Check back each Wednesday this month for a break down to the 2017 findings.  These are the next topics to look forward to:

Week 2:  Wait List Broken Down By Specialty

Week 3:  Wait List Broken Down By Province

Week 4:  Why Do Wait Lists Exist?

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Research shows that people who are well prepared and fully participate in their care have a smoother and faster recovery after joint hip replacement surgery.  How do you go on with your life after a hip replacement? You will need help moving around and getting some things done.  You will likely not be able to drive for 6 weeks (left hip replacement) and up to 3 months (right hip replacement). There are some things you can do BEFORE going to surgery to ensure a successful recovery AFTER:

  1. Before going to surgery ensure you have good support from your family or friends. They will be the ones to help you move around, bring groceries and take you to your doctor’s appointments. Have a designated contact person that will communicate your progress to the family as you may be in pain and on medication during the first couple of days in the hospital.
  2. Ensure you have all the needed equipment for the recovery prior to going in for surgery – a walker, crutches if you have stairs without handrails in your home, high toilet seat, bed assistance rail, bath transfer bench, leg pillow, reacher/grabber with pincher claws, long handle shoes horn and bath sponge.  Red Cross provides some of this equipment or it can be purchased at your local drug store.
  3. If you can, rent or purchase a cold therapy unit. It will provide an effective and soothing option for post-operative pain and swelling. By managing your pain with cold therapy you will be more encouraged to do your exercises and move around after your surgery. You can bring the cold therapy unit with you to the hospital and ask your nurse to use it when you have woken up from anesthesia.
  4. Arrange for sessions with a physiotherapist who can guide you through your recovery exercises – a must in your after surgery care. You can do the exercises on your own too, but optimally there is a therapist to help you through. Remember that you must keep doing your exercises at home to strengthen your muscles and get your hip moving. Walking is an excellent exercise.
  5. Prepare and freeze some healthy meals for easy warm up after you are back in your home. Make sure you have an adequate supply of canned food and staples.  You should be stocking up on foods that are rich in dietary fiber, calcium, and iron.

Remember that hip joint replacement is a major surgery and requires a great deal of hard work and healing on the part of the patient. Being prepared before helps your successful recovery.



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