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Patients in Victoria wait longer for walk-in clinics than anywhere in Canada: Medimap

Waits at Victoria walk-in clinics averaged 161 minutes in 2021, according to the company — well above both the provincial average of 58 minutes and the national average of 25 minutes.
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Patients line up outside as they wait for the Shoreline Medical clinic in Sidney to open. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

Victorians spent more time, on average, waiting to get into a walk-in clinic than anywhere in the country, according to data from Medimap.

The company, which posts real-time wait times for hundreds of walk-in clinics across Canada, says waits in Victoria averaged 161 minutes in 2021 — well above the No. 2 city, Kelowna, at 91 minutes.

Medimap’s Walk-in Clinic Wait Time Index for 2021 shows British Columbians waited more than twice as long — 58 minutes — to see a physician at a walk-in clinic than the national average of 25 minutes. The data is for 2021 and comes from more than 1,200 walk-in clinics across the country that subscribe to Medimap’s services.

By comparison, people in Ontario waited an average of 15 minutes followed by an average 18 minutes in Alberta, the data shows.

Six of the top 10 cities with the longest average wait times across Canada in 2021 were located in British Columbia. Kelowna, White Rock, North Vancouver and Vancouver all recorded average wait-times that were 60 minutes or longer.

Sherwood Park in Alberta had the shortest wait times in the country with patients waiting on average four minutes to see a physician at a walk in clinic.

Eight of the 10 cities with the shortest wait times in 2021 were in Ontario, though that province also had outliers such as Burlington where the average wait time was 51 minutes, according to the data collected.

Clinics pay to use Medimap’s software, but the service is free for patients and eliminates the need for patients to call around or show up at a clinic only to face a waiting room that is beyond capacity.

CEO Blake Adam, a University of Victoria business school graduate, started Medimap in 2015 with a six-month pilot in White Rock and in 2016 expanded to 35 clinics in B.C., including 15 clinics in Greater Victoria.

The service has since expanded across the country to Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia. The company says more than 70 per cent of walk-in medical clinics across Canada use its software.

While Ontario walk-in clinic average wait times have improved since 2019, wait times in British Columbia increased.

B.C.’s average wait times increased by 15 minutes from 2019 to 2021, while Alberta’s average wait time decreased by seven minutes over the same period. Ontario wait times decreased to 15-minute waits in 2021 down from 26 minutes in 2019.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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