Anyone who has had to go to a walk-in clinic in Kelowna won’t be surprised – the wait to see the doctor is longer than it used to be.
According to Medimaps, an online directory of medical clinics, Kelowna had the second-longest wait times for walk-in clinics in the country in 2021.
“Victoria is by far the city with the highest average waits, around 2 hours and 45 minutes to see a doctor. Kelowna is the second highest in the country, at an hour and a half,” said Blake Adam, founder and CEO of Medimap.
Wait times at walk-in clinics are higher in British Columbia than any other jurisdiction in the country
Adam said this was a more recent trend, not happening before the COVID pandemic.
“Notably, wait times are 4.5 times what they were in 2019 before the pandemic. People were waiting 20 minutes to see a doctor in Kelowna,” Adam said.
Global News spoke to people trying to get into clinics on Friday, many of whom said it was nearly impossible to find a same-day opening.
“I live just around the corner, I think I should be able to walk, sit for 30 minutes and walk in. I haven’t been able to do that in six months,” a Kelowna resident told outside a clinic who asked not to be named.
“It’s frustrating. My mum is 91 and it would be nice to know if she had care available,” Doris Steinke said. “I decided to personally visit some offices and ask questions, and they’re all full.”
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Some Kelowna residents said a significant shortage of family doctors in the city is causing walk-in clinics to be overbooked.
In comparison, Alberta and Ontario had the shortest wait times in the country, with patients in those provinces waiting about 15 minutes to see a doctor.
BC walk-in clinic wait times worst in Canada
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