Northern B.C. patients wait just to get on a wait list as HR reports show doctor shortage continues – CBC

Rural patients and doctors worry about lengthy wait times and level of care as workload rises in pandemic

Oct 19, 2022

Bob Storey is waiting to be put on a waiting list.

Walking with a limp and a cane, the longtime resident of Fraser Lake, B.C., is due to see a doctor about the osteo-arthritis in his hip in January 2023. It’s been a nine-month wait for the appointment. He’s hoping for a hip replacement, but he’s going to have to wait even longer for that.

The town, located about 160 kilometres west of Prince George, B.C., is in the Northern Health authority, where the average wait time for a hip replacement is among the longest of all B.C.’s health authorities and more than double the provincial average.

“If you’re rich enough you can go elsewhere and get it done, when you don’t have the money you gotta stick around,” he said.

Storey’s experience isn’t uncommon in B.C.’s vast Northern Health authority, which covers a geographical area larger than France, where long surgery wait times and a high demand for services hasn’t been met with a significant enough increase in supply, according to its latest Human Resources report.

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