April 2017

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Three-quarters of BC Orthopaedic Surgeons Favour Hybrid Healthcare System

Almost 80% of respondents to a recent BC Orthopaedic Association survey said they support Dr. Brian Day’s court case asking for private insurance. Over three-quarters (76%) favour having a hybrid private/public healthcare system like that of the United Kingdom, and almost 58% want to see substantive and innovative changes to the current system. Not one respondent opted for “status quo.”

“We recently conducted an anonymous on-line survey of our membership about the important issue of ‘access to care’. We had 82 responses; an excellent return from the 150 practicing orthopaedic surgeons in our province. The results were not surprising, but provide quantifiable information about our experience that we are keen to share with the media, the public and our patients,” said Dr. Kevin Wing, Past President of the BCOA and an orthopaedic surgeon at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

The majority (66%) of BCOA members responding to the survey do not believe their non-emergency patients are seen for their first diagnostic consultation within a reasonable period of time, and even more of them (83%) do not believe their patients get surgery within a reasonable period of time.

Over half (57%) of the respondents said the average waiting time for them to see these GP-referred patients is one to six months. Another 40% said it was their experience that this period was between seven and 18 months.

Almost three-quarters of those surveyed (73%) said their patients wait between four months to a year for surgery after the initial diagnosis. Only 7% get surgery in under three months and a similar number (6%) wait one to two years.

Almost one-quarter (24%) of respondents spend 100% of their time on MSP or WorkSafeBC patients and another 64% spend only up to 10% of their time on work that is not MSP or WSBC.

“Our membership believes this issue to be of vital importance to everyone in our province and indeed, to all Canadians. We are dedicated to the health and safety of our patients and always want to be part of working towards improving our healthcare systems,” Dr. Wing said.