One in three British Columbians who have had orthopedic surgery in the past 10 years say they waited an ‘unreasonable’ time for surgery – highest level of dissatisfaction in the country, new Angus Institute survey finds Reid.
About 22 percent of Canadians surveyed said they waited too long for their procedures, a figure that translates to over 300,000 patients depending on the number of knee and hip surgeries performed in Canada over the past decade.
In British Columbia, where orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brian Day is challenging the BC government over patients’ rights to pay for private care, the figure rises to 34 percent. However, dissatisfaction with wait times does not appear to translate into support for private surgery clinics, according to the study.
âYou can hear a lot of rhetoric about what Canadians or British Columbians want and don’t want, but we’re talking to people on the front lines to get a feel for their wait time situation and how they perceive it. these big political questions, âsaid Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute.
As the new NDP government begins weighing its to-do lists, the poll results could provide insight into how the Department of Health should determine its priorities or how it can improve patient care and satisfaction, she declared.
In British Columbia, the highest level of dissatisfaction correlates with longer wait times in the province, where only 61 percent of hip replacements and 47 percent of knee replacements were performed in the province. the Canadian Institute for Health Information benchmark compared to national averages of 79 percent and 73 percent respectively.
But the results are not uniform across the country. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, for example, had similarly low proportions of rapid knee and hip replacements, but are more likely to say their wait times were reasonable.
This suggests that people’s perceptions of how long they wait could be influenced by factors other than the actual length of their wait, Kurl said. “It can be about managing expectations or finding ways to make people who are still or in pain more comfortable.”
Of those respondents who report unreasonable wait times, 64 percent said they would continue to stick with the public health care system if they needed future orthopedic surgery. Only 36% said they would be willing to pay out of pocket.
But this willingness to pay for private care does not seem to translate into support for private surgical clinics.
Among the dissatisfied crowd, only 47 percent think private clinics are a good thing, while 53 percent still frown on them, despite a fee-based clinic’s ability to speed up their own wait times.
âThere isn’t necessarily the feeling of seeing private payment or private surgical clinics as the answer,â Kurl said. The 36 percent are âa large segment, but not the majority. Paying out of pocket is not necessarily what most patients themselves would say is the solution to these wait times.
The survey found that political opinions and income are more likely to influence people’s opinions about private clinics.
Federal Conservative Party supporters are more likely to view private clinics favorably (66%) compared to 44% for Liberal Party supporters, or 31% for the NDP.
Not surprisingly, respondents who earn more than $ 100,000 are also more likely to have a positive opinion of private clinics.
Overall, the vast majority of Canadians report being largely satisfied with most aspects of their orthopedic surgery, including their surgeons, the hospital and the results.
The demand for orthopedic surgery has increased dramatically in recent years.
Across Canada, the number of hip replacement hospitalizations increased 19% over five years from 2009 to 2014, while the number of knee replacements jumped 23% during the same period, according to the CIHI data. In British Columbia, there are 3,575 cases on the waiting list for hip replacement surgery and 9,319 cases for knee surgery.
The full report is available here. An online survey was conducted from May 29 to June 5 among a random sample of 1,512 Canadians who had orthopedic surgery in the past decade. The study has a margin of error of +/- 2.5 per center point, 19 times out of 20.
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