wait times

Non-emergency callers could wait longer for medical care in B.C.

DARRYL DYCK For The Globe and Mail

People calling 911 in non-emergency situations could soon wait longer for medical help as changes proposed to the provincial ambulance service’s rules could mean firefighters and municipal first responders stop answering over a third of medical calls.

The change would be included in the second phase of a sweeping overhaul of the response protocols of the B.C. Ambulance Service first enacted last fall. Known as a Resource Allocation Plan, it meant dozens of 911 calls were downgraded from emergency status, leading to slower responses without lights and sirens.

Waiting times cost B.C. patients $155.5 million last year: Fraser Institute study

Photo: Arlen Redekop , PNG

Waiting for medically necessary surgeries cost British Columbian patients about $155.5 million in lost time last year, a Fraser Institute economist claims in a new study.

It estimates that the total cost to Canadian patients of waiting for treatment after seeing a specialist was $1.1 billion in 2013, up from $982 million in 2012. Quebec had the highest cost at $267.7 million.

Author Nadeem Esmail said the report explores a consequence of waiting for care that Canadians don’t often consider.

BETHANY LINDSAY Reports

New feature will broadcast the average wait to see a doctor at five hospitals in Vancouver area

You tune in to News1130 to find out about wait times at the border crossings and ferry terminals, so why not at hospital emergency departments? Dr. Eric Grafstein is the head of ER services for Vancouver Coastal Health and helped develop a website that lets people can see how long of a wait they’re in for at the health region’s emergency rooms.

Vancouver hospital emergency wait times listed online

You can check traffic at the bridges and U.S. border easily enough and plan accordingly. Now you can find out what wait times are at five hospital emergency departments in Metro Vancouver, too.

 

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