Frustrated patients in British Columbia are in constant pain as their wait times for hip replacement surgeries increase. Wait times for joint replacements have increased in most Canadian provinces despite promises from the government to address the problem. B.C. is the province with the longest wait times, twice as long as Ontario, yet supposedly has a surplus of orthopedic surgeons. Julie Bennett, a mother of four children, is unable to work or even function without strong painkillers. She believes that, since her joint continues to deteriorate, she will end up in a wheelchair if she has to wait any longer. Most hip patients wait from six months to a year and a half to get surgery, not counting the wait to get the initial appointment with a surgeon. In 2014, the average wait time for joint replacement surgery in B.C. was 70 weeks, compared to 58 weeks in Alberta. The Fraser Institute believes public complacency is a big reason wait times have increased in most provinces. Could this be the price you pay in a universal health care system? There have been improvements in Saskatchewan where they are connecting patients with doctors with low wait times as well as starting to contract with private providers. Bennett says that waiting is “just not acceptable anymore.” Many Canadians come to the U.S. to pay cash to receive timely medical care. MediBid connects these cash paying patients with physicians who are happy to provide needed services and alleviate pain.
Tomlinson, Kathy. “Patients’ ‘lives ruined’ as hip surgery waits grow.” British Columbia. CBCNews, 2 Mar 2015. Web. 5 Mar 2015.