Surgical wait lists cost over $1 billion in lost time

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 54, No. 7, September 2012, Page 349 News

Lengthy waits for surgery cost Canadian patients a combined $1.08 billion in lost time and productivity in 2011, according to a new report from the Fraser Institute. The report calculates the average value of time lost during the work week at $1144 for each of the estimated 941321 Canadians waiting for treatment in 2011. When considering hours outside the work week, in­cluding evenings and weekends but excluding 8 hours of sleep per night, the estimated cost of waiting jumps to almost $3.29 billion, or about $3490 per patient.

The report uses data from the Fraser Institute’s annual survey of hospital wait times, which found that Canadians waited an average of 9.5 weeks from an appointment with a specialist to receiving treatment in 2011, up slightly from 9.3 weeks in 2010. Across all provinces and medical specialties, the report estimates that Canadian patients waited a combined 11.8 million weeks for treatment in 2011.

The full report can be viewed at

. Surgical wait lists cost over $1 billion in lost time . BCMJ, Vol. 54, No. 7, September, 2012, Page(s) 349 - News.

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