While many Greater Victoria medical clinics have shifted their services to a combination of appointment-based – including by-phone consultations – and walk-in service, patients in the latter category have become accustomed to long waits.
The situation here has become so dire, however, that clinics in the Capital Region now lead the way by a wide margin in terms of longest average wait times in the country to see a physician as a walk-in patient, according to a new report from Canadian tech company Medimap.
The clinics’ average wait time of 161 minutes is more than double the B.C. average of 58 minutes, and more than six times longer than the national average of 25 minutes. Medimap publishes wait time data for clinics in six Canadian provinces, excluding Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and the north.
Greater Victoria, which suffers from a chronic shortage of general practitioners, is not alone in having longer than average wait times at walk-in clinics.
Kelowna was second for average minutes waited with 91, while White Rock, North Vancouver and Vancouver were also part of the 60-minute-plus club in B.C. Coquitlam posted the shortest average wait times in the province at 13 minutes, according to Medimap.
By province, B.C. has the longest average wait time in Canada for those walking in without an appointment. Of others listed, Nova Scotia was next at 44 minutes, followed by Saskatchewan (31), Manitoba (20), Alberta (18) and Ontario (15).
Six of the top 10 cities for wait times in those provinces were in B.C.