Long healthcare waiting times concerning Canadians

The vast majority of Canadians have major concerns over long healthcare-related waiting times, according to new research.

The poll, which was carried out by Nanos Research on behalf of the Wait Times Alliance, asked 1,000 people across Canada about their levels of concern for healthcare waiting times.

Poll respondents were asked to list their concerns for six different waiting time scenarios, including the length of time it takes to see a specialist and the waiting time prior to a medically necessary procedure. Other scenarios included the waiting time necessary for placement into a long-term care facility while in hospital and the length of time people must wait to see a family doctor.

The research found that 64 per cent of Canadians were most concerned about the length of time it takes to see a medical specialist. They were least concerned about the waiting time to see a family doctor.

Just 10 per cent of those surveyed said that there had been an improvement in waiting times in the country over the course of the last decade, the poll revealed.

Sixty-eight per cent of poll respondents felt that all Canadians should be able to access the same level of health care despite their postcode. According to a related Wait Time Alliance report released earlier this year, certain provinces across Canada are starting to implement measures to lower wait times, including Saskatchewan, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador.