Victoria has longest average wait times for walk-in clinics: report

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A new report from Medimap shows that Victoria has the longest average wait times for walk-in clinics in the country.

In Canada, the average wait time to be seen is 25 minutes in 2021. In Victoriathe average waiting time is 161 minutes.

Seven of the top 10 spots for longest wait times are in British Columbia, with Kelowna coming in second with average wait times of 91 minutes.

Map reproduced with the kind permission of Medimap

Medimap is a Canadian technology company where walk-in clinics can sign up to share wait times. The company collected the data to calculate average wait times at clinics that are signed up for the service.

Blake Adam, CEO and founder of Medimap, said the last time this data was released was in 2019, so the team wanted to see how the numbers compare during the pandemic.

“We wanted to take a look to see how things were going to change, internally we kind of expected that wait times in all areas would have gone down just because of fewer people getting together. going to clinics with the pandemic and that’s been true in all provinces except BC,” Adam said in an interview with CHEK. “And, as you saw, Victoria, in terms of wait times, was by far the worst.”

He says Victoria has the highest number of Medimap users per capita.

“Obviously because cities like Toronto and Calgary that give you higher populations [have more users] but on a per capita basis, Victoria is our busiest city,” Adam said. “We have the most patient users in Victoria per capita compared to any other city, which I think is largely because the need there is so acute.”

British Columbia and Nova Scotia had the longest average wait times in the country, with British Columbia being 58 minutes for the province and 44 minutes for Nova Scotia.

Map reproduced with the kind permission of Medimap

The average wait time in British Columbia has increased by 15 minutes since data was last released in 2019.

Adam says the average wait time has decreased in all provinces except British Columbia compared to 2019 data.

Coquitlam had the shortest average wait time in the province, with patients waiting an average of 13 minutes to be seen.

The data was collected in 2021, before the announcement of the closure of several walk-in clinics.

In addition, some family physicians have closed practices, which puts additional pressure on the walk-in clinic system.

Adam says that while he can’t know for sure, he imagines the closures will increase wait times in the future.

“We can speculate, I imagine it’s probably not going to be good. There’s a lot of people who have been left without a family doctor,” Adam said. “And so I can only imagine it’s probably going to continue to rise, so it will of course be interesting to take a look at this year’s data and see how it compares.”

In 2019, the latest year this data is available, 66% of people living at Island Health were attached to a GP, according to Health Profiles of BC Community Health Service Regions.

The area within Island Health with the lowest percentage of people attached to a GP was Downtown Victoria/Vic Westwhere only 53 percent of the population had a general practitioner.

Qualicum Beach had the highest attachment rate at 81%.

CHEK News contacted the Ministry of Health for an interview. This story will be updated when a response is received.

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