Medical clinic wait times have nearly doubled in past year in Ontario: Survey


Published February 23, 2024 at 2:49 pm

Ontario wait time crisis
Photo: Antoni Shkraba

Medical wait times in Ontario are a growing concern and they’re only going to become worse, a recent report indicates.

Medimap, an organization that monitors both pharmacy and clinic wait times in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick, recently released its annual report on medical wait times — and the results point to a concerning trend. 

According to the report, the average wait time in Canada was 68 minutes in 2023, a 31-minute increase when compared to 2022.

In Ontario, wait times were the second-shortest across Canada, with an average wait of 59 minutes in 2023. However, when compared to statistics from 2022, Ontario wait times have gone up by 34 minutes, a nearly 43 per cent increase.

Medimap CEO Thomas Jankowski told of some insights Medimap has acquired over the years while monitoring wait times across Canada. 

“Pretty much since the end of COVID, things have been pretty much getting worse. However, it’s this year that we’ve seen the biggest jump,” says Jankowski. “I can say with absolute conviction that things are going to get worse before they get better.”

A core issue that has helped facilitate the worsening of medical wait times across the province is the massive exodus of medical practitioners from the digital sphere.

“Suddenly, tens of thousands of appointments that were realized virtually suddenly vanished and people had to start going back into emergency rooms and walk-in clinics, often for very minor ailments,” says Jankowski. 

However, despite the ongoing cracks in the medical system, Jankowski is hopeful for Ontario as recent incentives have provided pharmacists with the means to write prescriptions for certain ailments, eliminating the need for a visit to the doctor. 

Jankowski also hopes the tools he provides to Canadians can not only help them seek the care they require, but also provide an education on what needs to be fixed within the system itself. 

“I think everybody should be concerned with the way things are going and try to reach out to their local MPs. I hope whoever the next government is puts health care front and center of their platform because it has been abysmal.” 

Given the current situation, some have encouraged the privatization of medical systems. 

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