Medical treatment

Post-quick: Waiting for medical treatment cost Canadians nearly $4.1 billion in lost wages last year

The Fraser Institute estimates that 1.4 million Canadians waited an average of 14.5 weeks for treatments, which cost them $2,848 each

Content of the article


Advertisement 2

Content of the article

Add another cost of COVID-19 to the general ledger books.

The pandemic resulted in nearly $4.1 billion in lost wages and productivity while Canadians waited for medical procedures in 2021, according to the Fraser Institute, a think tank that promotes free markets and smaller government. .

Fraser Institute researchers estimated that 1,425,515 Canadians waited an average of 14.5 weeks for treatments, which cost them $2,848 each. And that was only during the work week. When leisure hours were added (and sleep time subtracted), the report’s authors estimated that the private cost of waiting time tripled to $12.4 billion per year, or $8,706 per patient.

“This estimate only takes into account the costs incurred by the person awaiting treatment,” Mackenzie Moir and Bacchus Barua said in an April 20 research note. treatment) and their loss of productivity due to mental hardship or anguish are not valued in this estimate,” they added. “In addition, non-monetary medical costs, such as increased risk of mortality or adverse events resulting directly from long treatment delays, are not included in this estimate.”

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

The Fraser Institute has a well-established reputation for monitoring wait times for medical care in Canada. The latest research bulletin was based on the think tank’s December 2021 report, which indicated that the median time taken to move from specialist to treatment was 14.5 weeks, up 2.4 weeks from 2020.

Waiting for a first visit to a family doctor further delays treatment: the total wait between referral from a general practitioner and treatment was 25.6 weeks in 2021, compared to 22.6 weeks in 2020 and the longest in the history of the survey, according to the authors. .

The Fraser Institute’s provincial breakdown of the value of time wasted waiting for treatment surprised those who associate political ideology with efficiency. Nova Scotia ($6,343) was the uncontrollable leader. Next come provinces with Conservative governments: Manitoba, $3,519; New Brunswick, $3,235; Alberta, $3,199; Saskatchewan, $3,129. The third tier was mixed: Prince Edward Island, $2,826; Quebec, $2,811; British Columbia, $2,611; Newfoundland and Labrador, $1,985; and Ontario $1,855.

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

However, patients in Quebec experienced the largest increase in the value of time lost while waiting, according to the report, which estimated the total value of lost productivity and wages to be $515.5 million, a up 187% from 2020. In Nova Scotia, the number was $274.3 million, up 68% year-over-year; in Ontario, $217.9 million, an increase of 36%.

The report also calculated the cost of lost productivity for 12 medical procedures: plastic surgery, gynecology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, general surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, cardiovascular surgery, urology, internal medicine, radiation therapy and medical oncology. , plus a residual category.

Nationally, the highest wait costs were seen in the orthopedic surgery category at $837,139.

Advertisement 5

Content of the article

“Long wait times for health care mean lost wages and reduced quality of life for patients,” Barua said. “While the fight against COVID-19 certainly requires our immediate attention, we may need to consider policy options that can benefit all patients and ease the strain on our public healthcare system.”


Was this newsletter sent to you? Sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox.

Shares of Netflix Inc fell 26% in premarket trading, extending its fall this year to 57%.

NETFLIX ON THE POINT Shares of the streaming giant fell 35% in New York trading on Wednesday following an after-hours earnings shock on Tuesday when the company reported its first drop in subscribers in a decade. Netflix said it lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2021, adding that it expects to lose another 2 million in the second quarter. Wall Street had forecast the company would add 2.5 million customers in the first quarter. Year-to-date, Netflix shares are down 63% at Wednesday’s close. Photo by Dado Ruvic/Illustration Reuters

Advertising 6

Content of the article

  • Fairfax Financial Holds Annual Meeting
  • Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and Seniors Minister Kamal Khera announce funding to support long-term care in Ontario
  • Viviane Lapointe, MPP for Sudbury, will make a FedNor announcement to support innovation and business growth in the Greater Sudbury area
  • Today’s data: US Initial Unemployment Claims
  • Earnings: Metro, AT&T, American Airlines, Snap


Advertising 7

Content of the article


Inflation came in like a lion in March with a year-over-year increase of 6.7%, well above the 6.1% that analysts had forecast for the month.

The last time inflation was higher was in January 1991, when the consumer price index rose 6.9% year over year, according to Statistics Canada.

With rising prices infecting all sectors of the Canadian economy, the Bank of Canada has no choice but to launch an aggressive campaign to raise its overnight rate in the race to rein in prices. writes Financial Post editor Kevin Carmichael.


Taking notes is an integral part of tracking a busy life, and our content partner StackCommerce can help you get the most out of your notes and improve your productivity.

Advertising 8

Content of the article

This note-taking app offers tools and components for planning, documenting, and sharing notes and can help you see your work schedule more easily, making it ideal for lesson plans, content calendars, independent working hours and much more.


Today’s Posthaste was written by Gigi Suhanic (@GSuhanic), with additional reporting from The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg.

Do you have an idea for an article, a pitch, an embargoed report or a suggestion for this newsletter? Email us at [email protected], or hit reply to send us a note.

Listen to Down to Business for in-depth discussions and insights on the latest Canadian business, available wherever you get your podcasts. Check out the latest episode below:



Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.