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Quebecers not waiting as long for surgeries in 2018: study

Quebecers are experiencing shorter wait times for medical care this year compared to last year, but there is still room for improvement, experts say.
Quebecers are experiencing shorter wait times for medical care this year compared to last year, but there is still room for improvement, experts say. FS Productions/Getty Images

A recent study has found that the average wait time for Quebecers to receive medical treatment has significantly decreased this year compared to 2017.

The research, conducted by the Fraser Institute, found people seeking treatment in the province waited an average of 15.8 weeks, five weeks fewer than the previous year, during which time Quebecers had to wait an average of 20.6 weeks to receive care.

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Bacchus Barua, deputy director of policy studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of the study, insisted that there are still a lot of improvements to make, as many patients still wait almost four months to get treatment.

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The report, released on Tuesday, found that patients waited the longest for neurosurgery (33.9 weeks) and orthopedic surgeries (23.8 weeks).

The fastest wait times were for oncological treatments (3.6 weeks).

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Long waits are concerning as they can increase a patient’s suffering, reduce their quality of life and, in the worst cases, lead to debilitating injury or death, according to Yanick Labrie, a senior associate at the Fraser Institute.

The institute noted that when it started tracking wait times in 1993, the average was 7.3 weeks.

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The average wait time across Canada is 19.8 weeks.

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— with files from The Canadian Press.